Wauwatosa Day Care and Learning Centers, Trinity Woods
Mount Mary University asked Wauwatosa Day Care to operate a center in the new building planned for their campus.
The center administrators wished to develop a thoughtful, state-of-the-art outdoor play-learning space to support joyful play and learning and to engage both children and teachers.
Planning started in early 2020 and progressed as building and site plans became available. Due to the scope and size of the large project, play yard construction was not able to begin until late fall of 2021. LR Contract Services and The Green Team of Wisconsin completed construction in 2022.
Play yard plan:
Construction in progress:
Recognizing the need for child care beyond what their Tribal Head Start center could provide, Red Cliff constructed a new building for their Zhawenimikaang Early Child Care Center.
As a result of their satisfaction with Gerry’s services at the Head Start Center some years ago, they called on Design4Kids to assist with the planning of an outdoor area for their new children’s center.
Teachers from the new center and the Head Start center actively participated in planning the new outdoor playful learning environment.
Limited initial construction started in 2021 and construction will continue in 2022.
CESA 7 Head Start
CESA 7 Head Start called on Design4Kids to help them plan improvements and additions to their existing yard with the desire for many natural features.
The center staff actively participated in planning the outdoor area through a series of workshop-planning sessions resulting in the plans shown below. The area will be enlarged and many features will be added to support the experiences teachers want to happen.
Fence revisions were done in the late fall of 2021 and new concrete paths, sand pit, sod, and hill slide were done in 2022 and more construction will continue in coming years.
Sennett Middle School, Madison, Wisconsin
Sennett Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin had wanted to enrich its schoolyard for many years. With involvement of Elizabeth Larson, a parent, efforts were reignited in 2019.
Active leadership by Shawn Shroedl, the instructional coach at Sennett resulted in school-wide involvement plus contributions from a variety of diverse professionals.
Elizabeth had experience working with Gerry in the past and the Sennett team asked Design4Kids to join the effort and help develop a conceptual plan.
The COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021 challenged Design4Kids’ desire for active participation by school yard users, but Shawn was able to arrange for many zoom sessions with student representatives from every class and with the teachers. The input and requests from these groups were thoughtful, innovative and provided valuable guidance for design. The students and teachers were great, and they were clearly envisioning more than the typical “playground”.
The conceptual plans have served fundraising, specific development, and phased improvements. With the vision and school community participation, schoolyard improvements are likely to be ongoing.