Sandra Day O’Connor High School is an updated and revised version of a prototype built for the district several years ago. The revised plans enhance the design through programmatic and code changes. Although district schools of the past relied heavily on masonry detailing for architectural character, O’Connor’s updated, high-tech image adds soaring barrel-vault roofs CAPACITY2,000COST PER SQ FT$119.81FEATURED IN2003 Architectural Portfolio glass walls.
Five major buildings make up the campus: an administration/media center, two classroom buildings, a gymnasium and a food-service building. Phase two buildings include a performing-arts building and an auxiliary gymnasium.
The 200-acre site is a beautiful, hilly natural desert. The site development features a large landscaped courtyard; the buildings are situated at its perimeter. An existing wash was retained as a feature in the courtyard. Buildings, whose colors blend with the desert, are placed on the steeper, higher portions of the site, and athletic fields and parking are on the flatter, lower lands. This enhances views from the campus, minimizes site grading and allows for rainwater retention.