Montessori for All Breaks Ground
With students taking charge of the shovels, Magnolia Montessori for All broke ground on Thursday, December 15, 2016. The campus, which will be located in East Austin on Pecan Brooke Drive, will have a village-like setting immersed in nature with 15 residential-scale buildings situated around landscaped courtyards. The school is a free, high-performing, authentic Montessori school that partners with local families to help children reach their potential intellectually, emotionally, socially, creatively, and physically, so that they can pursue lives full of meaning and joy.
“I am very excited to be standing on this site and understand what this means for the future of our community,” said Sara Cotner, Founder and CEO of Montessori for All. Members of the Page team including Shelby Blessing, Jim Brady, Sara Ibarra, and Chad Johnson all attended the groundbreaking.
The single-story Administration and adjoining Headquarters buildings form the school’s main entry. A decorative vegetative fence provides a welcoming face to the community and a generous front porch invites informal gathering during pick-up and drop-off. The school is organized around a main circulation path which acts as a Main Street for the Village that gently ramps down throughout the campus.
The youngest children on campus, the Infants and Toddler, peel off the Main Street first. Each group has their own specialized learning environments designed specifically to their unique scale and developmental needs. Their back porches open up to a generous tree-filled Infant and Toddler play area.
Each age group has their own cluster of houses within the Village and each cluster is arranged around a dedicated outdoor space. As the children get older their Courtyard spaces become more open and allow a greater degree of flexibility, freedom and independence. The Children’s House Courtyard is designed for gross motor activity within a protective, enclosed space. A Zen Maze and life-sized checkers board are nestled within the Lower Elementary Courtyard space and a community garden with rainwater collection is the main focus of the Upper Elementary Courtyard. Two activity filled play areas are tucked within the classroom clusters and take advantage of the natural character and slope of the site.