Early Education Center on Tap for San Antonio’s South Side

By Eric Althoff

SAN ANTONIO— The ground has been broken on the new South Education Center, an early learning facility that will aid early-childhood learning on San Antonio’s underutilized south side. RDG Planning & Design is acting as associate architect on the project in partnership with Pfluger Architects for the client, Pre-K 4 SA. GW Mitchell of San Antonio is serving as the project’s general contractor and working with HOLT Group on the construction.

When completed, the 53,000-square-foot South Education Center will offer classrooms for infants and toddlers that emphasize interactive and play-based activity. The design is meant to utilize renewable energy, meaning that with less waste, the students will be able to learn in a healthier, more sustainable environment. The early education center, to be located at 3510 S WW White Road, will also serve as a childcare center.

“This project is not just a model for designing schools with the unique needs of children ages birth to four in mind; it’s a powerful example of the role business leaders can play in ensuring every child has access to high-quality early education,” Dr. Sarah Baray, Pre-K 4 SA CEO, said at the groundbreaking. “Acting as a dynamic catalyst, our partnership with HOLT Group and our contractors symbolizes a new path to achieving high-quality early learning rooted in the vibrant community we call home. It is a true accomplishment in San Antonio, at this site, in this location.”

“RDG is thrilled to contribute to a project that addresses a critical need for quality early childhood education and reflects our commitment to creating meaningful and sustainable environments,” RDG architect and partner Ed Buglewicz said of the project. “This center will serve to enrich the community and support the educational landscape in San Antonio, making accessible education opportunities available to more children.”

In a subsequent statement emailed to School Construction News, Buglewicz said that their firm’s work largely entails the interior architecture and design for the South Education Center. For this the designer is leveraging its 25 years of experience assisting communities in creating supportive educational environments in which childhood programs can thrive.

“A variety of spaces are included that provide services primarily for the care and learning for the young children, but also spaces that provide support and resources for the teachers/providers and for the parents/families,” Buglewicz said, explaining further that the school will feature some unique design components. “This location will also contain the new corporate offices for PreK4SA in the city and will also be a community hub that provides a variety of training and professional development in three large meeting rooms.

“This created a challenge to be solved by the site design and the building layout, specifically how to navigate circulation and access of two different user groups, including [focusing] on the care and safety of small children. The design successfully keeps the two groups separated and secured through two separate entries on opposite sides of the building.”

The South Education Center is due to open in the summer of 2025. RDG operates from offices in Iowa, Missouri, Colorado and Nebraska.