The Maryland School for the Blind | Preschool, Early Learning and Outreach Center Addition & Renovation
The $15M Preschool, Early Learning and Outreach Center project involved the renovation of Andrews Hall—a 36,600 SF building and the construction of two building additions to house the campus’ Kindergarten and Preschool programs. Due to the school’s unique curriculum and special needs of the student population, the newly renovated facility contains modified classroom spaces, a Low Vision Clinic, Braille Workroom, testing area, conference rooms and offices for administrators as well as social workers. The first floor classrooms help provide life skills to the students through such unique environments as classrooms for construction, a Braille study space, a multi-sensory room, greenhouse and motor gym replete with dozens of motorized child-sized vehicles. Classroom entries were constructed to replicate a Laundry, Post Office, Grocery Store, Theatre, and Bank for the primary purpose of teaching and practicing life skills. By example, bank teller windows were provided 18” off the floor so that students could sit and practice interactions with banking representatives, in a play-based manner, while simultaneously gaining practical life experience. Replete with cut out trees, silhouette people, pets and floor finishes replicating grassy areas, the bright colored and textural finishes appeal to students who are partially sighted as well as those who are fully vision impaired.