at the Barack
Situated in the Peoplestown neighborhood, RDG's design for Sheltering Arms' Early Education and Family Center at the Barack and Michelle Obama Academy (formerly D.H. Stanton Elementary School) is inspired by the role the Center serves, its location and the community.
Sheltering Arms is an Atlanta-based nonprofit agency that provides high quality early childhood education, child care and comprehensive family support services to more than 3,500 children and their families annually. Design for the two-story Center encompasses 26,000-SF of education and support space for 184 children, ages 6 weeks through 5 years. To create visual continuity throughout the campus, the Center is constructed using brick resembling that of the adjacent Barack and Michelle Obama Academy. One-story portions at the northwest and southeast corners serve as toddler and pre-k classrooms, while a large multipurpose room provides space for expanded early childhood education programs and community outreach events. Age-appropriate play spaces surround the building, allowing the children to connect with the outdoors and incorporating natural play elements that create opportunities for physical, cognitive and social development.