Vailsburg Child Development Center at Ivy Hill
A 14 Classroom Preschool for 200  three and four year old children.


  Unified Vailsburg Service Organization (UVSO) recently selected Michael Shilale Architects, LLP (MSA) to design their new preschool. It was important to UVSO that this building be designed with the needs of three and four year old children in mind. MSA was the perfect choice.
Michael Shilale, AIA, LEED along with early childhood consultant David Del Campo, MSEd attended the Institute for Child Care Design at Harvard University. Since their time in Boston studying childcare facilities from throughout the world, Michael and David have been working together creating better spaces for young children. They have presented some of their best practices at state conferences throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
This project is partly the result of a landmark court decision in NJ called the Abbott case. The courts decided that 3 and 4 year olds from low-income families who cannot afford quality childcare are unprepared for kindergarten and elementary school. It has been called one of the most significant court decisions in education history. The goal of the Abbott programs and reforms is to give every child the opportunity to attain "his or her own place as a contributing member in society with the ability to compete with other citizens and to succeed in the economy." Abbott IV (1997).

The specific goals for the Ivy Hill Preschool are to create a place of beauty, a place where children would feel competent - a place that is safe and nurturing. A place for children to play and to learn and that meets their needs for movement, comfort, competence and control.

  LOCATION - Newark, NJ
CLIENT -  Unified Vailsburg Services Organization
COST - $5,000,000
SIZE - 30,000 SF