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Construction underway on $13.3 million child development center

CAMP PENDLETON — Construction is underway on a $13.3 million child development center that will soon serve 250 Camp Pendleton infants, toddlers and school age kids. San Raphael Child Development Center is being built on the south end of Camp Pendleton near the Main Gate. Construction began in January and is expected to be completed by February 2012.
When completed San Raphael Child Development Center will be a 25,000 square-foot school with 18 classrooms, a 1,100 square-foot kitchen, lobby and administrative offices. Classrooms and offices will open into a central 500 square-foot piazza and atelier.
The piazza and atelier provide a multipurpose room and artists studio for children to practice self-expression.
“Children are allowed and encouraged to express themselves with art, easels, tables and display areas,” John Pyjar, principal-in-charge for domusstudio architecture, said. “Interaction between children, sense of community and parental involvement are encouraged in the piazza.”
The child development center will be built with environmental friendly recycled tile, carpet and wall finishes, solar panels and low water landscaping.
The playground will have natural vegetation, artificial turf and playground equipment made from recycled materials. There will also be shade structures and nature pathways that will allow children to connection to the environment and explore nature.
The design of the child development center supports the Reggio Emilia Approach that will be used for instruction. The Reggio Emilia teaching method focuses on the principals of child self-mastery, responsibility and discovery through teacher reinforcement.
“The layout of the school’s administration and classroom buildings is designed to open into a central, secure gathering piazza,” Pyjar said. “The design and massing break down the large child development center building into smaller residential scale masses and forms to create spaces familiar and emotionally safe to the children while providing rich and varied experiential spaces.”
The new child development center will help serve the 45,000 Camp Pendleton families who live on and off base. Currently there are six child development centers on base. All child development centers located on Camp Pendleton are run by the Family Care department of Marine Corps Community Services.