From Dark and Shabby to Kid-friendly and Green
New Horizon Academy has been serving Minnesota families since 1971. In 2015, they took ownership of a dilapidated, dark bar and banquet space. Located in South Minneapolis along a heavily trafficked street, the 30,000SF site has gone through a major transformation. New Horizon was committed to renovating this building despite its original state. The building remained but the overall appearance drastically changed. Today the space is now a cheerful corner containing a state-of-the-art childcare center.
The 10,000SF building brings a renewed curb appeal to the concrete dense area. Champion’s Bar sat vacant for over a year and New Horizon Academy saw an opportunity to transform the building and provide a much-needed service in the area – high quality childcare.
The challenge was to create a kid-friendly, family environment. The existing concrete parking lot extended to the NE corner of the site but now a green lawn with trees provide a smooth transition for parents and children from parking to drop off. Half of the parking lot on the south edge of the building was overturned to make way for soft turf and a jungle gym.
The contemporary design provides a pocket park retreat and visual appeal to pedestrians walking by, waiting at the nearby bus stop and bringing their kids to daycare. Our designers integrated New Horizon’s brand colors while dynamic forms and shapes juxtapose concrete, metal paneling and brick.
To achieve the goals of the project we stripped down the building to its barebones and like a phoenix, gave this site a new life.
Previously a dark interior, the new space now offers infant, toddler, preschool and pre-k classrooms with increased natural light that can serve up to 162 children.
New Horizon Academy saw this as an ideal location and a chance to provide a great amenity, with proven societal and economic returns, for residents in the community. Working collaboratively, our team had full support from the neighborhood throughout the approval process of planning and zoning meetings.
The new childcare center aligns with the community’s dedication to: “build a flourishing and distinctive neighborhood by serving those who will help build our community going forward – our children.”