When Phoenix Union High School District decided to embrace the small-school movement, administrators realized they would need a new high school to alleviate crowding. Betty Fairfax High School was designed to deliver the promise of a small-school environment on a large school campus.
The design clusters classrooms into four separate schools, while providing CAPACITY2,400COST PER SQ FT$182.60FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio space for students and staff. Each small learning community (SLC) includes administration, counseling, media services and a large gathering area to accommodate the population of each individual school.
Desert flowers beneath a mountainous landscape inspire the school’s bold forms, materials and colors, and extensive windows maximize daylighting and reveal the scenic backdrop. Sustainable features include a high-performance building envelope, low-maintenance systems and native landscaping materials.
A neighborhood street connects the entire campus, each school with its own address, storefront presence and informal gathering spaces. With an encouraging sense of community, the school delivers a rich learning environment where students are driven and empowered to succeed.