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Day in the life: The Awty School early learning campus

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Awty International School’s new Early Learning Campus will provide the school’s next generation with opportunities for learning, vehicles for exploration and plenty of space for play.

Parents, teachers, and staff will see a safe, secure campus over three times the size of the existing facility, with spaces that accommodate the school’s rich programs and reflect its dedication to students’ development as future leaders, thinkers, and people of character.

It is all this and more. Creating the Early Learning Campus calls for more than an architect’s skills. It means seeing the world through a child’s eyes. It is about creating a world filled with opportunities for learning, vehicles for exploration, and abundant space for play.

A child arriving by car follows a welcoming tree-lined “boulevard,” with lush landscape, scattered benches and lighting. At the covered drop-off, the child forgets any apprehensions as they are greeted by a teacher and enter the campus through the Gym. It is filled with natural light, and the child can walk across see the cushioned sports courts, glimpsing a performance stage and a traverse wall for climbing.

As they follow the teacher to their classroom through corridors that feel like meandering paths, their anticipation rises. They pass dedicated rooms for dining, media, music, and art, as well as the library, and are ready to explore. (Is that a kitchen with counters my size? Yes, it is!) They enter one of the large early learning classrooms that are filled with natural light and organized around the central plaza.

The plaza begs to be explored. In an area four times the size of the existing play area, children will take part in organized activities and make their own adventures, on the rolling field turf playgrounds and tricycle track, soccer field and sports courts. Their imaginations aren’t the only things growing here, with places for children to learn about gardening in the outdoor learning centers and raised planting beds.

The child returns to the Gym for pick-up at the end of the day. On the way home, they talk about the day’s adventures and how excited they are for tomorrow.

To the Awty International School Class of 2032, we say Bienvenu. Bienvenidos. Wilkomme. Yokoso.

Welcome home.

- Cope Bailey

Cope Bailey is a Principal with Shepley Bulfinch. The firm is now completing the design of the Awty International School’s Early Learning Campus, the latest in a series of projects for the school’s Houston campus over the past 15 years.

Awty International School Early Learning Campus


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