Marshfield R-I is still in the preliminary stages of its Early Childhood Center.

The school district is working with Paragon Architecture to develop the project.

"We’re still in the beginning stages," said Brad Erwin, president of Paragon Architecture. "So far, we toured other projects to give Marshfield R-I an idea of what other school districts have done with their Early Childhood Center, just to have something in their minds."

After that, Erwin said the next step will be meeting with early childhood teachers and administrators to generate ideas from them as to what they’re looking for.

"We’ll give them options in advance," said Erwin. "We'll propose some options for them — what does it look like when you renovate an existing building and see how developments of the project work."

Even though development hasn't started just yet, Marshfield R-I assistant superintendent Mike Henry said they’re working with Paragon Architecture they still want to be proactive with the project.

"In a project like this, you have to consider several things, like figuring out how to find a location site and how many children we will serve in the center. With the site location, we have talked about the cost estimate and cost per square foot for the building."

He added, "We do have a space behind Hubble Elementary, which could potentially be a space, but it adds to the congestion problem of traffic. If we chose to use an existing building at Hubble, that could also create a FEMA Shelter for students and staff to access there. A concern with that option is the traffic flow in that area."

The Early Childhood Center was one of the top items in the long-range plan priority list/rank in the community. There were 10 items on the identified district needs list, according to Henry.

"The storm shelter for Hubble was also high on the list," said Henry. "It ranked number four, as far as priorities go. Students at Hubble walk across the street to get to Webster Elementary's storm shelter."

Paragon Architecture has done several projects for school districts in the region. Erwin said, "Some of the early childhood centers in the region we have done this year include Cassville, Bolivar and Purdy."

He added Paragon Architecture will be bringing structure options to the Marshfield R-I Board of Education sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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