New Facilities for OIST’s Youngest Learners
The new Child Development Center (CDC) at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University is ready to accommodate people. The new building will replace the temporary structure that has hosted the CDC since January 2013, doubling the number of children that the CDC can accommodate to 100.
According to John Dickison, OIST’s Buildings & Facilities Manager, the new building was designed with kids in mind. The new building is circular in shape with a central courtyard, creating a convenient, yet sheltered place for children to play. Sinks and toilets are lower to the ground, and there is even a small shower, just in case the children create a mess. Desks and work areas for teachers are positioned so that teachers can continue to supervise children at all times. Clusters of circular skylights give the building natural light, but they are tented with an elevated roof to prevent the rooms from growing too warm.
“We are very excited!” said CDC Director Julia Nabholz. “There is much more space for the children and I think they are really going to like the large glass doors into the courtyard.”
After CDC staff moves into the new building, the landscaping process will begin. Dickison says that the land from the temporary CDC will become additional playground space, and over the next few months the outdoor space will change from construction zone to grass and trees.
By Poncie Rutsch