The new centre has been constructed upon the former grounds of Greenock Academy situated on a prominent town centre location with views overlooking the estuary of the River Clyde and beyond toward Balloch.
A simple plan form was developed for the new centre in order to create a building that was easy to understand and navigate. On arrival through the main entrance, visitors and staff are greeted within a secure lobby space. Moving through this space there is a second larger lobby which provides a second layer of security and space for parents to gather at the start and end of the day. The administration office, parent’s room, accessible visitors toilet, IT hub and cleaner’s store are accessed from this lobby.
From the lobby, there are security doors leading left and right in one direction to a 20 pupil 2-3 years playroom and, in the other direction, to an 80 pupil 3-5 years playroom. The playrooms themselves are semi-open with half-height, movable furniture.
There is also the addition of storage areas that are aligned with ‘pods’ containing toilets and outdoor classroom space and to avoid disruption to teaching, staff areas are accessed from separate corridors which are reached from the inner lobby – this includes the staff room, staff toilets, a meeting room and general office.
Externally, the play area has a mix of turf and a covered, child-friendly surface that is complete with a series of low-rise climbing frames.
The centre itself is serviced by its own private car park and, to ensure long-term environmental performance, a series of renewable energy services have been installed including solar photovoltaic panels on the roof and a CHP energy unit, among others.
Works commenced on the Glenpark Early Learning Centre in August 2017 and the facility was formally launched in the autumn of 2018.
Inverclyde Council/ hub West Scotland
Best Early Learning & Childcare Centre Education Buildings Scotland Awards 2019