May 9-11, 2012
Extreme School Makeover | Creating Twenty First Century Learning Environments in Older Schools
Denver Marriott City Center, Denver, CO
The Transformation of Mira Costa High School Weaving old and new together as a seamless, sustainable 21st century Learning Environment
John Dale, FAIA, LEED AP and Tania Van Herle, AIA, LEED AP - Harley Ellis Devereaux
Rick Bagley, Deputy Superintendent, Administrative Services, Manhattan Beach Unified School District
This session focuses on the core topic of the conference: the dramatic transformation of an existing high school campus to create contemporary learning facilities for a high performing public school. A local bond passed in Manhattan Beach, California, just on the edge of the Great Recession, has been the catalyst for transforming the community's aging High School into a state-of-the art learning environment. The district commissioned its design team to develop a master plan for the phased revitalization and expansion of the existing campus, originally designed in the 1950's. The master plan was developed through a public workshop process that engaged teachers, parents, administrators, students and community members. Participants helped set a new vision, explored and critiqued design options and developed sustainable strategies for the revitalization of the camps. The master planning process has enabled the design team to show the community how a much greater proportion of existing facilities could be maintained and renewed than originally assumed. By building a major new academic facility on the edge of the campus, on the site of a parking lot, new capacity can be created before having to create temporary facilities or team down viable structures. A state of the art math science facility is being built while older classrooms with inherently sound, 'sustainable' features that had been lost over time are being restored and renewed for the humanities and student programs. The balanced approach of building selective new structures while recognizing and making the most out of sound existing buildings yielded another unexpected dividend.It has become possible to eliminate temporary and unwanted structures that have outlasted their intended working life in the center of the campus and create a new open space - a student commons that becomes the heart and sole of Mira Costa High School. Sustainability has been an underlying, common theme for both the renewal of existing facilities and the creation of new ones.