Ironwood Ridge High School

Tucson, Arizona

The district sought maximum community, staff, student, parent and governmental input to make Ironwood Ridge unique. It envisioned a student-centered, accessible learning community that would incorporate innovative practices and partnerships for enhanced student success.

Situated on gently sloping high desert in northwest Tucson, the 73-acre site was determined by ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMSHW Group Architects EngineersCAPACITY2,500COST PER SQ FT$90.91FEATURED IN2003 Architectural Portfolio U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be within critical habitat for cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl, a species protected by the Endangered Species Act. This led to a substantial project delay. The district developed mitigation plans that minimized construction impact, set aside 12.25 acres of natural open space, and used natural landscape plant materials to re-vegetate 11.21 acres.

A semi-campus plan features six buildings: administration offices, a media center, classrooms, a multipurpose cafeteria/kitchen, a gym and an auditorium. Buildings are grouped adjacent to major drainage channels that are connected by pedestrian bridge-ways, preserving natural channel areas for wildlife habitation and creating a natural working laboratory for students.