Sacred Heart School in West Des Moines invited Slingshot to propose an addition consisting of on a multi-purpose room + two preschool classrooms. Preschool — as well as kindergarten — play an important role in bringing families into the school to maintain enrollment. During our initial Pull Back, we determined that the best location for the multipurpose room would be the existing kindergarten classrooms. This change allowed dedicating the new wing to early childhood education, including space for preschool, developmental kindergarten + kindergarten classrooms.
The classroom addition created an opportunity for building in outdoor learning spaces. We added an enclosed playground that’s easy to supervise, a kindergarten patio + brought back the old grotto. Inside, the classrooms engage little ones with natural light, smart boards, purpose-built storage + a shared “porch” between kindergartens for science experiments. The multi-purpose room required a stage-type focus for student assemblies + guest speakers; the room can be used by church + community groups separate from the school itself.
The longtime school principal, who was integral to the project fruition, retired during construction. He called after the open house to say that the project exceeded every expectation. Kids really engage the outdoor areas, teachers love their classrooms + the school board appreciated the process we helped facilitate. The new principal, who has a background in preschool learning, is enjoying the educational opportunities she now has to offer incoming families.