The Vista Village Learning Plaza is an 8,000-square-foot technology and learning environment for the Guajome Park Academy, a charter school in Vista, California. The project was the result of a highly successful public-private partnership including Guajome Park Academy, the city of Vista, the Eastridge Companies, Norstan Communications, and Creative Learning Systems, COST PER SQ FT$245.00FEATURED IN1998 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLaboratoriesSUB CATEGORYSpecialized designers and providers of the equipment and systems housed in this facility. Norstan Communications provided financing for the project through its Norstan Financial Services subsidiary.
The educational program called for a flexible learning environment to serve as headquarters for up to 300 sixth- through 12th-grade students enrolled in both expeditionary learning programs and comprehensive project-based learning programs. Additionally, a comprehensive development plan was necessary to provide design, finance, construction, training and ongoing enhancement and technical support of the technology elements in one single package.
The facility is housed in a renovated downtown retail store and contains a range of high-performance research and analytical tools. Learners have access to a digital video studio, wind tunnel, robotics, lasers and a wealth of media production facilities. The Learning Plaza also is available for use as a community learning center, professional development training center and a school-to-work program venue. Many of the students housed in this facility are involved in various intern programs and provide a number of community-based research projects for the surrounding business community.
The building in which the facility is housed is a 1940s vintage five-and-dime store. Among the challenges the development team met was the need to enhance the building’s fire and life-safety systems, replace all existing electrical systems, upgrade the HVAC system, and bring the exterior into compliance with current planning standards for the redevelopment project area. The space design was dictated by a number of program-driven determinants, including security for the students, lighting control, and the physical demands of the Creative Learning Systems environment.
Compressed air, local-area network, video delivery and learning resources all are delivered to various stations in the environment from overhead. Students can access any resource, from tutorial video to Internet research from any station in the environment.
Photographer: ©Martin Trailer Photographics