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Union Corners Head Start
Madison, Wisconsin

Reach Dane is Dane County's provider of Head Start programs, a vital support system for vulnerable children and families. It is Wisconsin's #1 provider of care for homeless children.

view from Milwaukee Street

When Reach Dane (RD) decided to add another child care facility on Madison's Eastside, they partnered with Operation Fresh Start (OFS) to lease the school portion of a church building that OFS had recently purchased. In its turn, OFS renovated the former church portion as classroom and shop space for their programs that support 'disconnected' youth with employment training, GED education, and construction skills — with program participants themselves doing some of the building remodeling.

OFS sign Reach Dane's sign

before remodeling

(before, view from Milwaukee Street)

We assisted both groups through the City approval process, with site planning for a new playground and divided parking for RD and OFS. Then we provided the design, construction drawings and bid process for the gut-remodeling into a new child care facility, on an accelerated timeline driven by Federal funding deadlines.

new main entrance

Features include:

  • 6 classrooms for infants and pre-schoolers
  • full commercial kitchen
  • administrative offices
  • Thoroughgoing accessibility for persons with disabilities with a new covered entry portico with lobby, and a new elevator inserted within the existing building volume
mini-split HVAC units

Energy features: Although a round of performance analysis determined that the budget could not accomodate a full deep-energy retrofit, we did manage to substantially upgrade the safety, performance and comfort of the '60s-era school building, including:

+ new energy-efficient windows

+ new LED lighting throughout.

+ mini-spit heat pump HVAC, for room-by-room controllability by teachers and easy maintenance for staff

+ dedicated outdoor air system with energy-recovery ventilation