About the Project
Shirley Mayes Head Start is the sixth facility WDM has designed and renovated for Child Start since 2010. Child Start chooses to renovate existing facilities to maximize their budget, so the project began with site analysis of a couple of locations in an area of Wichita lacking adequate childcare providers. The search was narrowed to a former grocery store with a truck dock and parking lot.
One end of the store was converted into four oversized classrooms and offices, and the former parking lot was renovated into a playground with climbing equipment, tricycle paths, fabric sail-type shades, seating and storage sheds for outside toys.
WDM’s interior design uses colorful soffits at each classroom entry, color-coded so children and visitors can easily identify their individual classes. Each classroom has immediate access to the playground, with doorways flanked with windows that allow lots of natural light into the class. Restrooms are located between classrooms with sinks at child-size heights for easily supervised hand-washing.