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Cascadia Village Childcare/ Community Center

Affordable Community Environments (ACE) sponsored a community initiative for a childcare/community center in the Covington neighborhood. ACE currently operates 75 adjacent low-income family housing.
Cascadia Village concept was born. A proposed 10,000 SF 2-story community center, offering full range of infant and pre-school, with after school care from K-12. This facility will meet the needs of the entire community, with computer labs, exercise, and multi-purpose areas, including arts & crafts and commercial kitchen.
Derrick provided design facilitation, in a series of workshops, working closely with a blue ribbon building committee, comprised of an experienced and enthusiastic group of childcare professionals from both the private and public educational sector.

The childcare model to inform the design of this facility is “Reggio Emilia”, which approaches childcare through certain fundamental values about how children learn. The Reggio approach sees a child as a very competent protagonist and initiator who interacts with their environment. It is said that the environment is the “third educator”, behind parents and teachers.

As an Architect this was truly an exciting time of learning about the science of childcare. The architectural spaces have been conceived with great thought and purpose; natural light, view corridors, indoor/outdoor transitions, art and performance spaces. We toured the Helen Gordon center at Portland State, whose director and staff were gracious and generous with their time and experience.
It is a shame that no funding was found to finance this visionary project!


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