Saskatoon Early Childhood Education Demonstration Centre
Prime Consulting, Architecture, Interior Design, Construction Contract Administration, Sustainability Consulting
Located in the north end of Mount Royal Collegiate in Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Early Childhood Education Demonstration Centre provides care for the children of the students, teachers, instructors of Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon Trades and Skills Centre, and community families. The Centre also serves as an early childhood education demonstration centre for the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Early Childhood Education (ECE) program. The project is an example of an innovative partnership, bringing together Saskatoon Public Schools, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon Trades and Skills Centre (STSC), Gabriel Dumont Technical Institute, and several other private and public sector partners.
The facility houses two preschool rooms, one toddler room, two infant rooms, and observation rooms that are available for use by Saskatchewan Polytechnic students as well as parents. The rooms were carefully designed with specific attention to the sight lines to maximize the visual component of the “observation”.
Each room was designed to meet the Government of Saskatchewan’s guidelines for millwork and access to exterior views. Large expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass were put in place to blur the lines between inside spaces and outside spaces. Individual storage spaces were provided for each child in their designated rooms. A key component of the space was the outdoor learning space. It was important to give attention to the detail of this space as well as it is integral to the design philosophies of Reggio Emilia. A natural play space was created through the use of a rubber path that looped around the play yard, large rocks, sand pits, water areas, and natural plantings. This space resembles as close to a natural play environment as one can create in an enclosed play space. Each room has direct access to the outdoor area allowing the children to make the choice of where to play and how to spend their time while at the centre.