Designing & Building World-Class Facilities

William L. Clay Sr. Early Childhood Development and Parenting Education Center
Harris-Stowe State University
St. Louis, MO

The university and education department at Harris-Stowe recognized the growing emphasis placed on early childhood education and hired KAI to design a new 30,265 SF early childhood/parenting education center called the William L. Clay Sr. Early Childhood Development and Parenting Education Center. Sited at the entrance of the campus, the university desired a world-class facility utilizing the “Reggio Emelio”-based educational model. KAI collaborated with world-renowned designer, Adrian Luchini, to fulfill this vision.

This state-of-the-art childcare facility, hands-on teaching laboratory and parenting education center for the college’s students and accommodates 140 children, ranging from infants to pre-schoolers.

A unique audio/video system allows professors to demonstrate live child development lesson plans along with observation rooms directly to the higher education students’ classrooms.

KAI used building information modeling (BIM) software to produce working models of the facility, enhancing communication and collaboration among the project team.


Architecture, Interior Design, Building Information Modeling, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Plumbing Engineering, Project Management, Design-Build, Sustainable Design, Fire Protection Engineering

"This building will not only serve the Harris-Stowe community, but the entire St. Louis community overall."

Dr. Henry Givens Jr., President
Harris-Stowe State University

The Impact

Embracing the Needs of Children

The center is a safe, healthy and comprehensive child development facility providing full-day learning experiences for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. This project was designed to promote and encourage a diverse population of children's social, emotional, physical and cognitive development, while embracing their needs and interests to explore, discover, experiment and examine their world through play.

Project Recognition

LEED Silver Certified
2010 Project of the Year Award at the Associated General Contractors of St. Louis' Keystone Awards
Best of 2010 Award of Merit by Midwest Construction
2010 Regional Excellence Innovation Award by St. Louis Construction News & Real Estate
2009 Quality Concrete Award by the Concrete Council
2011 AIA St. Louis Architecture Award