The new Leander campus of the Abacus School is located on 3.7 acres in Leander, Texas. The school focuses on early-childhood learning from Pre-K through Kindergarten and also offers an accredited Early Childcare Infant and Toddler program. The facility consists of 11 classrooms arranged around a group of core learning centers: a Creative Movement Studio, Art Studio, Computer Lab, Library and a Gymnasium. Clerestories above a central gallery space bring natural light into the interior of the learning centers through glass partitions. Administrative offices and resource rooms, a full-service commercial kitchen and laundry room complete the program spaces.
The Abacus School practices a theme-based education curriculum where all programs for a given month follow a single subject, ‘The Natural World’ for example. The teachers then connect the themes to age-appropriate activities throughout the classrooms and learning centers. With this in mind, our design incorporated wide, open corridors and display areas for teachers to decorate the walls in 3D constructions for that month’s theme. We also gave each room large storefronts for students to see activities outside their classrooms and for other students traveling in hallways to see in. This type of casual interaction is a hallmark of the school operation.
The site includes several plays areas, a pool and pool house, a play field and garden area. The drive for drop-off and pick-up was carefully arranged to provide for safety and ease of parent access. a long canopy shelter runs the length of the drop-off drive and carries a whimsical nod to the school name that the children readily identify. As with all our education projects, we strive to merge built elements into the school’s identity and learning environments.