Early Learning Center

Maryland School for the Blind | Baltimore, MD

The Early Learning Program provides integrative instruction for children from infancy through 5 years old who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities. The purpose of the program is to promote readiness for school-age programs in the most integrative setting possible. Typically developing students, without disabilities, are included as an integral part of the daily program. Activities and outcomes from the Maryland Model for School Readiness are adapted for all students. The program is licensed through the Office of Child Care.

The scope of the project included renovating and adding to an antiquated 1955 high school and transforming it into a safe learning environment that responds to the needs and abilities of specialized students of pre-school age. The first floor houses the Early Learning Program for Infants & Toddlers, and the center-based programs including both Preschool and Kindergarten. The second floor houses statewide Outreach Services offices, providing programs for students from infancy to age 21, their families, and local school system staff.

The design has been embraced enthusiastically by staff, teachers, students, and their families as a facility well suited to serving and supporting their unique needs now and in the future.

Project Highlights

  • Center-based learning environments that simulate everyday experiences - grocery store, bank, theater, library and post office
  • Flexible open spaces including a new Motor Gym and Multipurpose Room
  • Creatively manipulates themed finishes, color and texture to assist with wayfinding
  • Go Kids Go Workshop that outfits children's play cars for enhanced mobility
  • Sensory Room
  • Large, stategically situated student restrooms with lifts and changing stations
  • LEED Silver Certification
  • Sitework included a new playground and redefined site circulation for drop-off and buses, including provision for a variety of mobilities

Have a question about this project?

Contact Michelle S. Hooper, AIA at mhooper@mca.design


  • The world created within the school building allows the children to explore, learn and make believe regardless of their visual or physical impairments

    —Parent, MSB Early Learning Center

Project Details

Professional Expertise

Pre-K – 12 Education

Professional Services

Architecture | Interior Design | Planning + Programming | Sustainability

Awards

ABC Baltimore Excellence in Construction Award

American School & University Educational Interior Showcase – Outstanding Project
Special Needs Interiors

USGBC LEED Silver Certification

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