In many areas throughout the United States, residents do not have access to adequate childcare. While that statement alone would get anyone’s attention, the impact is far reaching. With limited childcare options, parents may have to travel further from their homes to find proper daycare facilities. This can affect the types of employment they can pursue and, possibly, prevent them from finding work.
This phenomenon is known as a childcare desert and it impacts life for over half the population in the U.S, including residents of Seaside, OR, a city located in the northern part of the state. The community qualifies as a childcare desert with more than three times as many children under the age of five as available slots in licensed childcare facilities.
Seaside is one of the communities along the Oregon coast served by the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District (SEPRD). To address the area’s childcare desert and to identify opportunities to better serve its over 10,000 residents, the SEPRD leadership team engaged the Sports Facilities Companies and its project partner Scott | Edwards Architecture to conduct a highest and best use study. Through this study, SFC and S|EA worked to identify, recommend, forecast, and design programs and physical spaces at a former middle school building that was acquired by SEPRD.
The project focused on three primary needs in the market:
Through this scope of work, SFC and its project partner performed the following services:
Indoor Recreation Facility