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September 5, 2012
Kraus-Anderson completes Stillwater Area Public School District’s new LEED Early Childhood Family Center
STILLWATER, Minn. (August 2012) – Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest commercial general contractors and construction managers, has completed the new 48,000-square-foot Early Childhood Family Center (ECFC) for the Stillwater Area Public School District. The new facility replaces the existing leased space which currently serves about 400 families each year. The center, the district’s first LEED project, is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and is pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification.
Grand opening ceremonies are set for 3:30 p.m., Thursday, August 30 at the ECFC site located at 1111 S. Holcombe Street, Stillwater. Following the ribbon cutting, officials will conduct tours of the building that showcases some of the facility’s features and sustainability elements.
The ECFC will provide a healthy learning environment to help young children (birth to age 5) develop a solid foundation for learning. Classes at the center will be offered for parents and their newborn babies, infants and toddlers. Preschool classes will also be held in the new facility to provide preparation for kindergarten.
A large portion of the ECFC will focus on providing services to young children with special needs. The center will offer preschool classes for children with a wide-range of disabilities who will have access to a variety of physical, speech and language therapies.
Used by 500 families a week, the new facility will also be home to two partners, Courage Center St. Croix and Northeast Metro Intermediate District 916, which will lease space from the district and provide integrated programming. Courage Center will house all of its pediatric therapy programs out of the new center, and District 916 will serve deaf and hard-of-hearing students from across the eastern metro area. All three programs housed within the new ECFC building will provide services for many of the same children, making the new center a “one-stop shop” for families.
“Integration is an important distinction to describe the significance of the ECFC, both in terms of our partners and all of our participants – children and parents,” said Corey Lunn, superintendent of Stillwater Area Public Schools. The staff office area, which has a shared lounge and media resource library, integrates the center’s three partners – the school, District 916 and Courage Center — into one area conducive to enhance collaboration and communication. In addition, the children of parents enrolled in the Adult Learning Center will also be integrated into the facility, folding children of non-English speaking cultures into the community at an earlier age. “The center’s programming will mainstream children of all abilities,” added Lunn. “This is a comprehensive facility that aims to educate not just children, but the parents as well.”
Designed by St. Paul-based BWBR Architects, the center includes many unique features. A children’s gymnasium is constructed with cushioned floor tiles color-coded to accommodate children’s activities, games and achievements. A second gymnasium, an innovative sensory gym designed with Courage Center, provides activities in a more intimate, non-threatening environment, with an enhanced cushioned floor, lower ceilings, child-size rock-climbing wall, ceiling swings, padded movable partitions and other activity equipment. The District 916 classroom has auditory panels for better sound quality, and a sound field system which can be tied in to children’s hearing devices. Also, a special kitchenette will be utilized by Courage Center for feeding therapies.
The long-awaited project was funded in part by a $1 million posthumous donation from Lee and Dorothy Whitson, which was used toward construction of the district-owned facility.
LEED Silver Certification and sustainable features
LEED, the USGBC’s Green Building Rating System™, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. Pursuing LEED Silver Certification with the USGBC, the ECFC project employed many sustainable design features, including a light color and high-reflectancy cool roof, high-efficiency mechanical system providing savings of at least 40 percent above code requirements, and daylight classrooms with windows and tubular roof devices. The building has low-emitting materials, mold prevention, indoor air quality management and efficient appliances. The project also includes photovoltaics (PV), which convert solar radiation into electric power and solar thermal to heat water. At least 75 percent of the construction waste was recycled.
KA continues to lead the field of regional K-12 construction projects and is currently ranked 6th in the nation in the construction of K-12 facilities by Building Design and Construction magazine. The company also remains the top construction manager of education facilities in the region, having completed over 180 K-12 projects totaling over $620 million in the past five years. Ranked consistently among the top Green Contractors in the U.S. by Engineering News Record, the company has also been leading the charge in sustainable design and construction for the last 20 years. KA has been involved in dozens of LEED projects, including six K-12 facilities as well as the first LEED-certified project in Minnesota.
Established in 1897, Kraus-Anderson® Construction Company (www.www.krausanderson.com) is one of the nation’s premier commercial general contractors and construction managers. The company has been ranked consistently among the top Green Contractors in the U.S. by Engineering News Record and has been leading the charge in sustainable design and construction for the last 20 years. Kraus-Anderson, an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and has regional offices in Phoenix, Ariz., Madison, Wis., Minot, N.D., and Duluth, Bemidji and Rochester, Minn.
About the Stillwater Area Public Schools
Stillwater Area Public Schools provides a rigorous and relevant education where all learners are valued, positive relationships are developed and students are prepared for life-long learning in a global society. The district serves 9,000 students in early childhood and K-12, combined with offerings from community education programs and services for learners of all ages. Stillwater is Minnesota’s first school district and covers approximately 150 square miles serving students and residents from 18 communities.