On Sept. 12, 2011, the Ladue Early Childhood Center began classes at the center’s new location at 10890 Ladue Road in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
It is Ladue School District’s first completely new facility in over 30 years. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget and will begin its first year with over 300 students enrolled in one or more of the many classes and programs offered.
“The facility is state-of-the-art and replaces one that was extremely old and out of date,” explains Superintendent Dr. Marsha Chappelow. “The opportunities for our youngest learners are amazing.” In addition to providing programming for preschoolers and toddlers, the facility houses St. Louis County’s Early Childhood Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program through a unique partnership between the district and Special School District.
The new facility is also drawing the attention of educators and architects around the area, as well as across the country. “As in any industry, people in education and construction are interested in what colleagues in their field are doing that is unique or special in some way,” sites Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner. “As we progressed through the designing and building of the facility, we began to realize we were creating quite a stir on several fronts.”
The district hosted an Open House and Dedication on Oct. 14, 2011, to show off the new facility to district residents with a “special showing”earlier in the day to accommodate guests from other schools districts, as well as those involved in the development and construction of educational facilities.
Director of Facilities Mike Noonan gives special credit to the district’s talented internal staff. “One of the great features of the building is the large play area in the two-story atrium at the center of the building,” Noonan explains. “It includes a specially designed water table and a huge playhouse structure that looks like a small village. These were completely constructed by the district’s own internal staff. We’re proud of the talent, and proud to have created such amazing features at an affordable cost.”