Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC)

Dedham, Massachusetts

January 2019

date completed

$22.3 M

Construction cost

310 pupils

in pre-k & kindergarten

52,000 sf


LEED Certification

RDA was selected to work with the Town of Dedham to determine how best to provide an appropriate Early Childhood program for 310 of the District’s Pre-K and Kindergarten students that was housed in a severely ill-suited teaching environment at the former Curran Elementary School. Our designers led the District through an exhaustive design process that explored 14 options on 5 different sites, resulting in an evaluation matrix that allowed the School Building Committee to set aside various biases and unite around the eventual solution – a 52,000 SF stand-alone Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten Early Childhood Center located on a delightful 20-acre wooded site. The scale of the building, with its hip roofs and multiple classroom ‘pods’, is responsive to the size of the young learners it houses. The materials, colors, and textures used on the exterior take their cue from natural site elements including ledge outcroppings and the colorful vegetation that surrounds the building. Natural lighting is abundant throughout the school and the building layout provides a logical, inviting floor plan that is easy to navigate and, more importantly, is an exciting place for the Dedham’s early learners as they embark on the start of their educational experience.

Early Childhood Education Center outdoor learning