Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory

  • area / size 22,300 sqft
  • Completed 2016
  • Stantec was tasked by Grand Rapids Community College to complete the design for the Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    The college’s early childhood education program includes a preschool facility, which provides a service to the community, and laboratory space that supports hands-on educational opportunity for college students. The location of the building centralizes the program to its users, creating a transition between the neighborhood to the east and the college campus to the west.

    Due to an aggressive design schedule, Stantec utilized a series of design charrettes with GRCC to define goals, prioritize dreams, iterate options, and synthesize decisions to strengthen the program’s ambitions. The single story building features a flexible multi-purpose room for gross motor activities, an adjacent family reception lobby, administrative support offices and adaptable classroom laboratories (infant, toddler, preschool and adult). The two building wings provide direct access from all classrooms to secure outdoor learning areas – one for infants and toddlers and a second separate area for preschoolers. Access to natural light and the ability to open the building to the exterior from every classroom were guiding principles discovered during those early charrettes.

    ContractorRockford Construction
    Photography: Justin Maconochie