Title: Baby Gator ; Child Development and Research Center
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100469/00001
 Material Information
Title: Baby Gator ; Child Development and Research Center
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Verlander, Steven
Publisher: College of Design, Construction & Planning, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
 Notes
Abstract: The Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center was in need of a play area for their infant children. This area is to be separate from the rest of the kids to ensure safety while expanding their bodies and minds in a healthy outdoor environment. Full attention was paid to the way this age group plays and interacts with its surroundings. Upon arrival to the site it was clear that more than just the infants needed a well designed area for play. The 2-5 age group was also begging for attention. The site was then fully transformed into an age appropriate playground that was safe and fun for all.
Acquisition: Landscape Architecture capstone project
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00100469
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Permissions granted to the University of Florida Institutional Repository and University of Florida Digital Collections to allow use by the submitter. All rights reserved by the author.

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The University of Florida


College of Design, Construction and Planning












An Undergraduate Thesis in
Landscape Architecture

By



Faculty Advisor





2010


Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree Bachelor in Landscape Architecture














Baby Gator; Child Development and

Research Center


Sby


Steven VerIlander

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"PLAY FOR ADULTS IS RECREATION,
THE RENEWAL OF LIFE,
FOR CHILDREN IT IS GROWTH,
THE GAINING OF LIFE."
-JOSEPH LEE


page 5




















































page 6






PROJECT DESCRIPTION








THE BABY GATOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH CENTER WAS IN NEED OF A
PLAY AREA FOR THEIR INFANT CHILDREN. THIS AREA IS TO BE SEPARATE FROM THE
REST OF THE KIDS TO ENSURE SAFETY WHILE EXPANDING THEIR BODIES AND MINDS IN A
HEALTHY OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT. FULL ATTENTION WAS PAID TO THE WAY THIS AGE
GROUP PLAYS AND INTERACTS WITH ITS SURROUNDINGS. UPON ARRIVAL TO THE SITE IT
WAS CLEAR THAT MORE THAN JUST THE INFANTS NEEDED A WELL DESIGNED AREA FOR
PLAY. THE 2-5 AGE GROUP WAS ALSO BEGGING FOR ATTENTION. THE SITE WAS THEN
FULLY TRANSFORMED INTO AN AGE APPROPRIATE PLAYGROUND THAT WAS SAFE AND FUN
FOR ALL.


page 7















CLIENT INFORMATION


page 8





CLIENT INFORMATION


THE BABY GATOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH CENTER MONITORS AND CARES
FOR CHILDREN 6 WEEKS TO 5 YEARS OF AGE. THE CENTER EMPLOYS NEARLY 50
TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS TO MAKE SURE THIS KIDS ARE IN A SAFE AND
HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT. AT ANY ONE TIME THERE CAN BE 90+ BABY GATORS IN
AND/OR OUTDOORS PLAYING AND LEARNING. DIRECTOR PAM PALLAS AND ASSISTANT
DIRECTOR STACY THOMAS ARE HIGHLY INVOLVED WITH THE PROJECT FOR THE
INFANTS.


Bab

Gatorjg
Child Development and Research Center
UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA


page 9




















































page 10















EXISTING CONDITIONS


page 11






EXISTING CONDITIONS

LOCATION
THE SITE IS LOCATED ON THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA CAMPUS IN


GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA ON NEWELL DRIVE BEHIND
CENTER.


THE HEALTH SCIENCE


page 12






EXISTING CONDITIONS

SITE
THE EXISTING SITE PLAN HAS NO MAJOR HURDLES TO BE OF ANY CONCERN. THERE ARE
A FEW LARGE TREES THAT PROVIDE GREAT SHADE, A RETAINING WALL THAT
ELIMINATES ANY GRADING ISSUES, A RAMP TO TRANSITION FROM THE ASPHALT BLACK
TOP TO THE GRASSED AREA, AND THE YARD IS ALREADY FENCED IN WITH A CHAIN
LINKED FENCE. \\\ b .I "k -


page 13






EXISTING CONDITIONS

ANALYSIS
THE ONLY CONCERN FOR THE SITE WAS SHADE. CURRENTLY THERE ARE THE
LARGE TREES TO PROVIDE A LOT OF NATURAL SHADE BUT SOME AREAS
RECEIVE SO MUCH SUN THAT IT BECOMES UNBEARABLE FOR THE CHILDREN
DURING SUMMER MONTHS.

SHADE I

INTENSE SUN .

S. DRAIN

RAMP

RET. WALL

MOVEMENT .

EROSION


page 14







EXISTING CONDITIONS

ANALYSIS
THE GOOD VIEWS LISTED WERE NOT
ORIGINALLY THOUGHT OF AS GOOD
VIEWS. TO THE WEST THERE IS A
SERVICE DRIVE WITH A DUMPSTER AND
ON THE NORTH AND EAST SIDE THERE
ARE ROADS WITH SIDEWALKS. AFTER
INTERVIEWS WITH THE TEACHERS IT
WAS REALIZED THAT THE CHILDREN
LOVE TO PEOPLE WATCH AS MUCH AS
ANYONE ELSE. SOME OF THE TRUCK
DRIVERS DELIVERING TO SHANDS EVEN
COME UP TO THE FENCE AND GIVE THE
KIDS JUICE BOXES.
I p


IMAGE OF THE SERVICE DRIVE NEXT TO THE PLAY GROUND


PANORAMA OF EAST SIDE. SHOWING EROSION BY THE RETAINING WALL


page 15








EXISTING CONDITIONS


i V


ToP: EXISTING PLAY STRUCTURE,
STORAGE SHED, AND 'SUN
SHELTER'/OUTDOOR CLASSROOM. THE
OUTDOOR CLASSROOM IS OPEN ON ONE
SIDE AND THE SHED IS PORTABLE.


BELOW: EAST
SANDBOX AND


SIDE VIEW. EXISTING
SWING SET.


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page 16


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EXISTING CONDITIONS


TOP: SOUTHSIDE OF INFANT AREA.
SINK AND WATER FOUNTAIN
(PARTIALLY FUNCTIONAL)


BELOW: WESTERLY VIEW OF INFANT
AREA. VIBURNUM HEDGE WITH STORM
DRAIN IN FRONT.


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CiNTAS


page 17


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page 18















DESIGN PROGRAM


page 19






DESIGN PROGRAM

THE PROGRAMS CALLED FOR AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO THE LACK OF SPACE
DEDICATED TO THE INFANTS AT THE BABY GATOR CENTER. CURRENTLY THE
TEACHERS OF THE INFANT CHILDREN HAVE NO OUTDOOR PLAY AREA. THE ONLY
OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE THESE YOUNG KIDS GET IS A WALK AROUND IN THE SAFETY OF A
STROLLER. THIS AGE GROUP REQUIRES SPACES TO EXPLORE NEW THINGS THAT WILL
EXPAND THEIR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ABILITIES. SINCE THE MOTOR SKILLS OF THE
CHILDREN ARE JUST STARTING TO DEVELOP, MATERIAL CHOICE IS A HIGH PRIORITY ON
ALL THE ELEMENTS TO BE CHOSEN IN THIS AREA. THE PLAYGROUND WILL IMMERSE THE
INFANTS IN AN EXCITING WORLD OF TEXTURES, COLORS AND SOUNDS. SPACES WILL
ALSO NEED TO BE DEDICATED TO THE TEACHERS THAT LOOK AFTER THE CHILDREN.
THESE AREAS NEED TO BE SHADED WITH STRUCTURES AND OR PLANT MATERIAL.
THERE IS EXPECTED TO BE NO MORE THAN 10-12 INFANTS OCCUPYING THE SPACE AT
ONE TIME. THERE WILL BE 3-4 TEACHERS SUPERVISING WHILE THE KIDS PLAY. THE
REMAINDER OF THE BABY GATOR PLAYGROUND IS FOR THE 2-5 YEAR OLD CHILDREN.


page 20










THE INFANT AREA HAS BEEN PRIVATELY FUNDED FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW. THE
STAFF AT BABY GATOR HAVE PILES OF INFORMATION ON WHICH THEY WOULD LIKE TO
HAVE IN THE PLAYGROUND. THEY COULD HAVE EASILY PURCHASED AND THROWN IN
RANDOM PLAY PIECES ONTO THE SITE BUT THIS SPACES REQUIRES MORE THAN THAT.
IT REQUIRES UNDERSTANDING THE SPACIAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ELEMENTS AS
WELL AS THE MATERIALS IN WHICH THESE ELEMENTS CONSIST OF.THE GOAL FOR THIS
AREA WAS TO GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED, WITHIN THEIR PRICE RANGE OF
$20,000, AND DO IT ALL WITH A SENSE OF DESIGN AND PURPOSE.

THE BIG KID AREA ON THE OTHER HAND HAS NO FUNDING AND IS MORE OF AN AFTER
THOUGHT. DESIGNING A SPACE THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR MAXIMUM PLAYABLITY WAS
THE MAIN GOAL. SINCE COST RESTRICTIONS DID NOT INFLUENCE THE DESIGN WAS
MORE FREELY PERCIEVED.


page 21




















































page 22
















MASTER PLAN


page 23






THE MASTER PLAN

THE MASTER PLAN IS
DIVIDED UP INTO TWO MAJOR
SECTIONS; INFANT PLAY
AREA AND THE BIG KID PL--Y
iPEA. THESE AREAS ARE
SEPARATED TO ALLOW FOR
MAXIMUM PLAYABILITY
WHILE ENHANCING SAFETY <
FROM THE OLDER AGE .'"
GROUPS.


page 24







THE MASTER PLAN

EACH PLAY AREA IS LAID OUT TO ACHIEVE THE FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. THE
SECTIONS ARE CONTINUOUSLY HARDER TO MANAGE AND REQUIRES THE CHILDREN TO BE
AT A CERTAIN PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DEVELOPMENTAL PHASE. STARTING WITH THE
INFANT PLAY AREA, THE CHILDREN DO NOT REQUIRE MUCH IF ANY KIND OF MOTOR
SKILLS TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY THE SPACE. IT STILL STIMULATES THE MIND AND BODY
WITH VARIOUS ELEMENTS WITH INCREASING CHALLENGES TO HELP THE KIDS PROGRESS
AND GROW HEALTHILY. AS THE CHILDREN INCREASE IN AGE AND SIZE THEY BEGIN TO
GRADUATE TO THE BIG KID PLAY AREA. THIS AREA ENCOMPASSES THE REMAINDER OF
THE SITE BUT IS SUB DIVIDED INTO MULTIPLE PLAY ELEMENTS. THE YOUNGER AND
SMALLER OF THE BIG KID GROUP BEGIN THEIR PLAY TIMES WITH ONE END OF THE OVER
ALL PLAY GROUND. AS THEY PROGRESS AT THEIR OWN COMFORT LEVEL THEY CAN BEGIN
TO EXPLORE THE REST OF THE PLAYGROUND WHILE BEING SAFE FROM THE BIGGEST OF
THE CHILDREN.


page 25




















































page 26
















INFANT AREA


page 27






THE INFANT PLAY AREA


THE INFANT AREA IS THE MAIN CONCERN FOR THE SITE. AN AREA HAS BEEN
DESIGNATED TO BECOME THE INFANT ONLY PLAY SPOT USING PRIVATE FUNDING.
THE NEEDS OF THE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION AND THE
FOLLOWING PLAN WAS DEVELOPED.
THERE ARE AREAS FOR DIGGING
AND EXPLORING IN THE SAND BOX. 0IIC ANP CMU
AREAS FOR CRAWLING IN THE VINE E-NCHAffAC I
fV\ PLANET
TUNNEL. PLACES SO SPLASH IN -. AfoYRox
THE WATER TABLES. EQUIPMENT
CHAR f II
TO TOUCH AND BANG ON WITH THE
Y INfk13 ACT VE WALL
INTERACTIVE WALL. AND THERE
ARE AMPLE PLACES FOR THE ,
TEACHERS TO CODDLE AND FEED /
THE LITTLE ONES. THESE AREAS T--"
ARE HEAVILY SHADED BY EITHER 4
VEGETATION OR A SHADE SAIL.


page 28





ELEMENTS OF THE INFANT PLAY AREA




*. .




S\ I


page 29
















BIG KID AREA


page 30






THE BIG KID PLAY AREA

IN THIS AREA THE 2-5 YEAR OLD CHILDREN ROAM. THE PLAYGROUND WAS DESIGNED
TO SHOWCASE THE CAPABILITIES THAT THE BARREN SITE HAS. THE EXTENSIVE
EXISTING OPEN LAW IS GREAT FOR THE 4 AND 5 YEAR OLD KIDS TO RUN AND PLAY
TAG BUT THAT LEAVES THE 2-5 YEAR OLD KIDS STUCK IN A SMALL CORNER. WHAT
THIS DESIGN DOES IS SPREAD THE AMOUNT OF PLAY SPACE EVENLY TO ALL THE
CHILDREN CREATING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. THERE IS A GRADATION FROM ONE END TO
THE OTHER AND WITH INCREASE IN AGE AND SIZE THE CHILDREN CAN MOVE UP TO THE
BIGGER CHALLENGES THAT LIE AHEAD


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page 31









THE BIG KID PLAY AREA


TIRES


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PLA STRUCTURE:

PLAY STRUCTURE:


SLIDE AND SWINGS


-WATER TABLE
, -


, T -
- CLIMBING MOUNDS



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page 32


13






ELEMENTS OF THE BIG KID PLAY AREA

YOUNGER AND SMALLER KIDS CAN PLAY IN THE RE-DESIGNED SAND PIT AND THE
CLIMBING MOUNDS. EXPLORING IN THE SAND AND ON THE MOUNDS WILL ALLOW THEIR
IMAGINATIONS TO RUN WILD AND WORRY FREE FROM THE BIGGER KIDS.


page 33







ELEMENTS OF THE BIG KID PLAY AREA

ONCE THE KIDS AND TEACHERS FEEL THEY HAVE DEVELOPED ENOUGH PHYSICAL
STRENGTH THEN THEY CAN MOVE FORWARD TO THE SWINGS AND TIRES. HERE THEY
CAN REALLY CHALLENGE THEIR MUSCLES TO CLIMB UP TO THE TOP OF THE FORT AND
FLY DOWN THE SLIDE WHILE OTHERS EXPERIENCE A FREE FALL SENSATION ON THE
SWINGS. THE TIRES LET THEM ONCE AGAIN STRETCH THEIR IMAGINATION TO A WHOLE
NEW LEVEL. TUNNELS AND STACKS GIVE THEM LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES FOR PLAY.


- 11


page 34


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ELEMENTS OF THE BIG KID PLAY AREA

NOW THAT THE KIDS ARE OLD ENOUGH AND BIG ENOUGH THEY ARE FREE TO SPLASH IN
THE CUSTOM DESIGNED WATER TABLE. SMALL WATERFALLS AND VARIATIONS IN HEIGHT
ALLOW FOR ALL SORTS OF CREATIVE ACTIVITIES. THE EXISTING PLAY STRUCTURE WILL
STILL BE ON SITE FOR THE BIGGER KIDS TO USE AS WELL.


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page 35


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Final Capstone Presentation


Steven Verlander


Adviser: Terry Schnadelbach









* Project Type
# Institutional Playground

* Project Description
The Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center was in need of a
play area for their infant children. This area is to be separate from the rest
of the kids to ensure safety while expanding their bodies and minds in a
healthy outdoor environment. Full attention was paid to the way this age
group Plays and interacts with its surroundings. Upon arrival to the site it
was clear that more than just the infants needed a well designed area for
play. The 2-5 age group was also begging for attention. The site was then
fully transformed into an age appropriate playground that was saf afun
for all.









Gator
Child Development and Resarch Center
UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA
The Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center monitors
and cares for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The Center
employs nearly 50 teachers and administrators to make sure the
kids are in a safe and healthy environment. At any one time there
can be 90+ baby gators in and/or outdoors playing and learning.
Director Pam Pallas and Assistant Director Stacy Thomas have been
highly involved with the Project for the infants.















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. ery minimal existing site elements

Open lawn, 2 play structures, swing set and a sand box

. Existing trees provide shade for majority of the site

,Areas not in shade became severely hot

Too hot for the children during summer months

. No severe grade changes

Drainage issue at east side of site

-Grade change exist at ramp and retaining walls
































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Client Interviews


Program

Research

Concepts


Master Plan


Details








* The program called for an immediate response to the lack of space
dedicated to the infants
The only outdoor experience these young kids get is a walk around in the
safety of a stroller.
* Material choice is a high priority on all the elements to be chosen in this
area.
* Spaces will also need to be dedicated to the teachers that look after the
children.
* There is expected to be no more than 10-12 infants occupying the space
at one time.
There will be 3-4 teachers supervising while the kids play.
* The remainder of the Baby Gator playground is for the 2-5 year old
children.
Separation of age groups is of high concern for safety.









*Researched based design
'Designing Outdoor Environments for Children'
Design for infants, toddlers and preschoolers differs
+ Infants need sensory stimulation
+ Touching, hearing, seeing...
Toddlers require spaces to act out prepositions
Over, under, in front of, behind...
Preschoolers need stimulation to enhance their physical and social
skills
Running areas, climbing areas, jumping places, sliding


structures









*Researched based design
Jean Piaget
Theorized that children develop and learn in stages
Sensorimotor stage
Age: Birth to 2 years
These children use senses to experience the world
Begin to understand permanence by accidental use
Preoperational stage
Age: 2 years to 7 years
Children primarily learn through imitation and play
Imagination begins to develop
Reasoning









*The master plan is divided up into two major sections
Infant play area
Big kid play area
Separated to allow for maximum playability while enhancing
safety.



























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*Infant Area



Big Kid Area


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* The infant area is the main concern for the site
* Creating spaces that let the kids crawl and waddle around freely as
well as places to let the teachers monitor and hold them
* Elements were created to appeal to their sensory stimulation.
* There are areas for...












- digging and exploring in the sand


box


- crawling in the vine tunnel


AL splashing in the water tables


AD hitting and feeling on the


interactive wall


I *E holding and napping on the chair


swings


*F feeding and relaxing undei


shade sail


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North entrance


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* 2-5 year old children roam.
* Divided into stages
Sense of accomplishment
Safety
+ Spread the amount of play space evenly to all the children creating
a safe environment.
+ Minimizing high speed collisions with big and small children.



































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*Currently the infant area is being bid on by University of Florida's
Physical Plant as well as the Housing Department.
Funds are already available to begin construction. Ground breaking
will possibly happen by the end of July.


*The big kid area is still at a conceptual master plan.
Hopes of using this plan to generate donations to Baby Gator









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