Ragusa described the concept for Uplift as "a center for integrated learning, focused on the cognitive, language, physical, and socio-emotional development of children ages 5-8. Uplift would serve as a center to encompass a broad spectrum of sensory, cognitive, and social differences while also offering opportunities to foster social inclusion and enhance the wellbeing of students."
She continued by saying, "The [design] concept 'interconnected' is derived from the curvilinear contour lines of a hot air balloon. When the structure of the balloon is exposed, we can see how the shape is formed by interconnected lines that are all working toward the same goal. The curvilinear forms, shapes, and lines in the building's design help avoid an institutional feel and incorporate visual, sound, and tactile clues."
Ragusa's vision for the center would utilize "universal design, biophilic design elements, and differentiating spaces will provide predictability for students and aid in a decrease of anxiety, stress, and confusion during the transition between activities." She went on to explain that "to reduce sound reverberation, the design features a variety of acoustical ceiling baffles and Type II wallcoverings.
"Overall, the Uplift Center would provide a stimulating, accessible learning environment for children with learning disabilities, that boosts confidence and fosters growth. The goal: through the Uplift Center, students from all kinds of backgrounds would overcome obstacles and soar to new limits.", explained Ragusa.