St. George Catholic Early Learning Center

St. George Catholic Early Learning Center houses five pre-K classrooms along with several multi-functional spaces. Incorporating 21st century design concepts for a new generation of learners, the school is bright, colorful, stimulating and engaging.

The structure was designed for maximum flexibility and efficiency, as it sits on a compact site surrounded by existing buildings. Programmatically, the Grace Hebert Curtis Architects design team was careful to minimize the amount of circulation spaces and maximize opportunities for learning and play. The greatest focus is on the outdoor space: a centralized playground that essentially serves as an open-air circulation space between classrooms. Opening all classrooms directly to the lush, green play space allowed the design team to streamline the building’s footprint while giving young students the best possible learning experience.

Meanwhile, the interior includes individual classrooms, a mini amphitheater that serves as an alternative learning space, and a larger amphitheater which allows multiple classes to interact and hosts small performances for parents. The interior architecture and color palette are playful but also reference the Catholic story of creation, as the school was envisioned as a mechanism for students to learn more about their faith. Acrylic apple trees and wall graphics featuring nature scenes introduce color and visual interest into each classroom. Floor stripes throughout the building assist in wayfinding (leading to different playground access points) and represent rivers mentioned in the Bible.

While educators and staff members do have dedicated workspaces, the design team was careful to provide all necessary resources, such as restrooms and storage closets, inside each classroom.

Grace Hebert Curtis Architects also designed a new church on the same campus, and the school marked the second phase in the congregation’s master plan. The school incorporates the campus’ existing exterior color and material palette, which centers on warm tones and wood accents.

Project Size: 14,800 sq. ft.

Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Completed: 2018

Class Inspired Interior Design

Circulation spaces double as gathering areas and showcase children’s art. Meandering walls are lined with woodland-inspired graphics and bench seating.

Variety Of Learning Spaces

Classrooms offer a variety of learning and play spaces, while large windows and nature-inspired design elements bring the outdoors in.

Exploration And Discovery

The outdoor play area encourages exploration and discovery through a variety of textures and equipment as well as lush foliage.

Project Awards

2019 Design Excellence Silver Award American Society of Interior Designer

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