The Better Denver Bond Program funded the major expansion, new classrooms and renovation of the Westwood Child Development Center which completely transformed the facility and grounds. The improvements also included a public art mural and sculpture bench. The facility serves low income students and their families, and now they and the Center staff can enjoy the benefits and beauty of the renovations. In September, 2010 Councilman Paul Lopez, joined leaders from Mile High Montessori, the Bond Program, Denver’s Office of Cultural Affairs, artists and preschoolers in a special ceremony to celebrate the improvements and unveil the new art.
The facility improvements include:
- A 4,755-square-foot expansion of the facility.
- Four new preschool classrooms with new furniture and materials, plus new support spaces.
- A new centralized entry plaza and lobby, and space for gatherings and family education.
- Nine additional parking spaces and a more convenient place for drop-off and pickup of children.
- Inclusion of glass walls and windows to create a better visual connection to the outdoors.
- Use of recycled signage in the courtyard arch which serve as both design and educational elements.
- Renovation of the existing 5,286 sq. feet of space, including the toddler and infant classrooms, which have been reworked into fresh, light-filled spaces.
- Use of “green” sustainable building approaches, such as a solar photovoltaic mechanical system, and day-lighting for better energy efficiency.
- Renovation of the outdoor spaces and landscaping, which transformed the original flat grass area into an area with rolling hills, winding paths, decks, shade structures, and new play equipment. The new space also serves as a place for outdoor learning.
Construction was done from summer 2009 through summer 2010.
Project Budget: $3.2 million (design & construction)
Architect: Humphries Poli Architects
Contractor: Tower One Construction
Client Partner: Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers
City of Denver Project Management through Denver Public Works
About the new Public Art at the Westwood Child Development Center:
Artist Mike Juarez’s “Pathways” is a vibrant mosaic mural that saturates the entryway to the Center, and can also be enjoyed from the playground. It is made of Native American, Mexican and Spanish tiles and broken plate pieces containing glass, ceramic and porcelain. It depicts pathways, boulders, trees, farm fields, rolling hills and a river.
Artist Robert Tully’s “Reconciliation Bench,” situated in an outdoor garden/play area of the Center, is a sculpture made of Colorado rose red granite. The bench provides a peaceful place where two children can sit to talk through disagreements. It has two opposite facing seats allowing the children to see each other, and the seats are connected with a shared armrest.