With a focus on educational excellence, natural materials, child discovery, vibrant/interactive spaces, and sustainable principals, Neighboring Concepts provided programming, architectural and interior design and construction administration services for the Howard Levine Child Development Center. The CDC is the final phase of the newly constructed Renaissance Community which will provide child care for the residents within the neighborhood and the surrounding area. The CDC focuses on keeping small classes and was designed to achieve the highest possible child care rating as awarded by the state of North Carolina. It also functions as a teaching model, and will serve as a resource for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte staff and students.
The main level of the Child Development Center includes several classrooms for children from infancy up to four years of age, along with observation spaces, a central gathering/play area, family resources, offices, and a small commercial kitchen. The upper level features meeting and office spaces for the faculty along with the YMCA, who will be the managing partner. Each classroom features direct access to the exterior play areas, which was a very important aspect of the project. The exterior space features trails for riding trikes, different play areas composed of natural materials, vegetation of various sizes, and raised gardens in order to encourage learning. The overall goal of the exterior play space was to provide an engaging environment that provided daily experience in the natural surroundings for all of the children to appreciate and enjoy.