“Outstanding Design Award” for the Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center


Owensboro, KY — RBS Design Group Architecture (RBS) recently received their 15th design award from American School and University Magazine, for their work on the Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center.

Architect firms across the country submitted designs for evaluation ranging from Early Learning Centers to Higher Education Facilities, and the best and most innovative designs were selected from each category. RBS has the honor of being the only firm selected to represent the Early Learning Center Category.

Since 1983, American School & University magazine has hosted the premiere competitions for education design projects. These awards highlight achievement in design excellence and those that receive this prestigious award are featured in the annual design issue, which is sent to School administrators across the country.

Jim Ivy, Principal Architect and co-owner of the firm, said “The award is a source of great pride to our firm, and shows our dedication to creating the best possible learning environment for student’s beginning their educational journey. Facilities like the Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center are designed to engage young students and to enhance the overall learning experience.”

The new ELC features several unique and innovative design techniques. Located throughout the school are various “learning design” elements including color crayon columns that show how colors mix, an alphabet mural, and color coordinated corridors that help the young students easily navigate the 56,000 square foot facility.  The school also features a motor skills room with a racetrack floor, and an enclosed playground that helps to enhance the overall safety of the facility.

RBS recently completed a new Early Learning Center for Elizabethtown Independent Schools and has wrapped up construction on the new Paducah Middle School. To learn more about RBS Design Group Architecture and our completed work please visit

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