Mesa View Community School is an alternative-education setting that provides at-risk high school students with learning opportunities that will allow them to integrate back into a comprehensive or continuation high school environment, or earn their GED and move into the employment world. Often, a student’s attendance here is mandated by the court system as a last resort COST PER SQ FT$286.00FEATURED IN2007 Architectural Portfolio juvenile hall, so the main goal of the project was to create a safe, secure and inspiring environment.
In response, the architect designed a self-contained, inward-facing courtyard campus to foster camaraderie among students. Three classrooms, a food-service and community kitchen, and a gymnasium with associated restroom and locker room facilities are grouped around the central courtyard. This layout provides students a sense of community with other peers. In addition, the office of the on-site probation officer faces the courtyard for monitoring and security purposes. The location itself, a secluded, rural area of Nipomo, Calif., contributes to maintaining a safe and tranquil environment.
Clerestory windows allow natural light into all classrooms and the gymnasium, providing energy savings and a warm educational environment.