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As part of the 2004 Jefferson County bond election, three preschools were planned to replace aging facilities and improve student safety. RTA designed an early childhood education (ECE) prototype to meet the district’s plans and implemented it in several parts of Colorado. The John & Karen Litz Preschool in Wheatridge and the Norma Anderson Preschool in Golden were both completed in 2007. The Florence Irwin Preschool in Lakewood was completed a few years later in 2009.
The preschool prototype includes a classroom wing for grades 4 through 6 that can easily accommodate future additions, an entry lobby that splits the educational and administration areas, a multi-purpose room, and an outdoor play area. The outdoor play area includes a winding tricycle track and a covered storage area.
RTA designed playful massing and the materiality of the forms inspire curiosity and imagination while providing clear circulation between the educational and outdoor spaces. High, open structure ceilings allow for ample natural light and a continuous connection to the outdoors.