The Project & Event
As a result of a productive working relationship, Ascension Parish approached Multistudio to reimagine the ground floor of the Lemann Building into an early childhood learning space that could be modeled throughout the region. The Center will foster growth for infants through 2-year-olds and is designed to give children the start they need to succeed. The curriculum will follow the Perry Preschool Project, which takes an active learning approach to early education and was developed outside Detroit in the early 1960s. The Perry Preschool Project came as a response to the disinvestment that Black people were seeing and continue to see in their communities throughout the country.
On Thursday, October 6th, Lexi Tengco, AIA, the Project Manager of the Early Childhood Education Center, and several others from the Multistudio team joined an open house hosted by the Parish of Ascension, City of Donaldsonville, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, Nicholls State University & CF Industries.
Financed by money rerouted from the St. Bernard Juvenile Detention Center, the Early Childhood Education Center illustrates how funds redirected from penal architecture to spaces intended to foster the growth of the individual can weaken systemic structures of inequality and racism.
While at the open house, the Multistudio team engaged stakeholders with VR goggles and our Deck of Spaces to illustrate how these spaces would look once complete.
The Early Childhood Education Center will come equipped with learning spaces to serve infants through 2-year-old children: a gracious lobby welcomes families while maintaining security, classrooms include ample daylighting and healthy material finishes that emulate nature, and the cafeteria serves as a multipurpose space for dining and indoor gross motor activities. Though outside our scope of work, the building’s second and third floors were renovated to accommodate mixed-income housing – promoting artist-preferred accommodations.
To put it simply, build educational spaces — open people’s minds and hearts, and good things will come.