River Trails/Prairie Trails Early Learning Center
Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) and FGMA decided to renovate an existing building into an Early Learning Center (ELC) based on an extensive LCCA process. FGMA led the project renovation of this 1960’s era facility, and it will be the first “net-zero energy performance” building in its community. The project includes a $2M grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation due to the efficiency of systems incorporated into the design. The building’s energy efficiency also enhances air filtration, a key strategy to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases.
The civil components EEA designed revolved around stormwater infiltration and mitigation. All of the existing asphalt parking and drives were replaced with permeable brick pavers. The asphalt was specified to be recycled and the new permeable pavers are backed by the provider with a 45-year guarantee. To help reduce cost and refuse generated from the site work, EEA reused existing stormwater infrastructure. The sustainable efforts continued with an eye on environmental impacts. Since the site stormwater discharges to an adjacent creek, a paver system was installed to reduce potentially contaminated runoff from entering the creek. Additionally, all stormwater on site was routed through a naturalized wetland-style detention basin that will serve the educational needs of the students in the future.
The ELC has space for 10 Kindergarten classrooms and 4 Pre-K classrooms, space for music and art, and a “natural” playground, allowing teachers to incorporate the outdoors into their curriculum. This building is a continuation of River Trails School District 26’s leadership and vision of creating environmentally-friendly learning environments.