Klingner has received the First Place Design Excellence Award in Education from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Illinois for the Brown County Early Learning Center in Mount Sterling, Ill.

Funded by the Tracy Family Foundation, this imaginative adaptive reuse project transformed an 8,500 SF building into a nature-themed childcare facility optimized for child development. A whimsical tree branching over the reception desk greets families as they enter, with abstract bushes and carpeting suggesting stone walkways and grass guiding children to their classrooms. The indoor play area further inspires imaginative play with carpeting that suggests a river, bridge, and stepping stones. Colorful and highly adaptive furnishings tie the entire design together for a truly child-centric experience.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the ASID Illinois Chapter,” said interior designer Heather Olson, NCIDQ. “Designing for young children allows for creativity and a different perspective on the built environment. It was a pleasure working with the Tracy Family Foundation in order to provide such a wonderful service to the community.”

The Brown County Early Learning Center, which opened to the public January 2021, can accommodate up to 80 children ranging in age from infant to five years old.

“We couldn’t be happier with the Brown County Early Learning Center,” said Tracy Family Foundation Executive Director Dan Teefey. “Not only does the center meet a significant childcare need in our community, but does so through a beautifully designed facility that is welcoming, innovative, and conducive to learning. The children and parents love it!”

Olson accepted the award at the 19th Annual Design Excellence Awards on September 13 in Chicago. Awards evaluate a projects’ goals, concepts, and specifications to spotlight designs that positively impact lives in multiple sectors.

For more information about the Brown County Early Learning Center, please call 217-773-5017 or visit browncountyelc.org.