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Knowledge Center

Case Study : K-12 : St. Anne’s Day School

St. Anne’s Day School – Construction Site = Learning Opportunities

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Situation

St. Anne’s Day School is inspired by the educational curriculum of Reggio Emilia, Italy. The school provides a hands-on, authentic learning environment where direct student involvement is greatly encouraged to help build confidence and self-assurance at an early age.

As part of a broader capital improvement campaign, St. Anne’s transformed their existing greenspace into an outdoor learning environment providing children the opportunity to fully explore, nurture, farm and cultivate their own personalities and self-esteem. To fulfill its mission it required direct input from the children, a commitment to sustainability, be extremely safe, and a place where imagination can run wild.

BDR Solution

To succeed, the Outdoor Learning Center had to connect to the school campus and provide an enhanced educational and creative experience for the children and educators alike.

BDR found many ways to help St. Anne’s deliver this project. Sustainable practices transplanted existing landscape within and beyond the grounds, brick pavers were donated to Habitat for Humanity, a well was installed to irrigate the gardens, and the retention pond was stabilized to allow for more fresh water learning.

Most importantly, the construction of the project became an outdoor learning lab for the children. The project team provided many opportunities for the children to visit the construction of the outdoor classroom. Educators recorded the students’ observations and inquiries through journals, models and photography.

“Quality and innovation were two of the fundamental principles that both the Day School and I were committed to achieving for the Outdoor Classroom Project. Even when faced with a challenging budget and unforeseen site infrastructure conditions. BDR was conscientious to ensure that these guiding principles were maintained throughout the project’s process.”

- Janet Reinertsen
Director
Saint Anne’s Day School

Results

The program includes outdoor covered rooms, learning structures, dry creek bed, on-site well, seating areas, tricycle and games area, multiple accessible paths, and gardens providing an area of learning and exploration.  The children now have an environment that will stimulate curiosity, exploration and discovery ensuring that each can have a positive and creative learning experience.

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