Oliva Family Early Learning Center

  • LOCATION: Vancouver, WA
  • COMPLETED: 2011


The Clark College Early Childhood Education Program is a place where community is celebrated, questions are valued, and exploration is encouraged.  Their newest facility addition to the program, the Oliva Family Early Learning Center, contributes to their program values by providing a welcoming center that allows College staff to utilize best practices and meet the needs of the children and their families.

Completed in 2011, the 6,175 sq ft Early Learning Center is home to classrooms for toddlers and pre-schoolers, a multi-purpose room, art room, kitchen, and a small library.  Great care was taken to design the building for children, including kid-friendly materials, low window heights for small children to look out, and a themed story area.  The building materials relate to its forested surroundings using stone, wood ceilings, and log-like beams and columns.  A curvilinear glass enclosure at the entry allows for natural light to penetrate the building and for students to observe the outdoor playground. With children’s health in mind, the project promotes eco-friendly design and material use.

LSW’s landscape consultant, BergerABAM, designed an award-winning outdoor play area which encourages children to explore vegetation, walk through nature trails, and experience the great outdoors while maintaining a secure learning environment.  The playground uses a natural setting to inspire imaginative and educational play with a Discovery Maze, Enchanted Forest, Water Garden, and Sensory Garden.