Escalante Mid-High School

Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico

Extensive renovations and a 43,000-square-foot addition converted an existing high school into a mid-high school for the village of Tierra Amarilla. About 150 high school students and 50 middle school students attend the new school.

The design of the school creates a state-of-the-art facility from portions of ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$237.00FEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio old rural school building. New classrooms, science labs, computer and media centers were constructed.

A new commons area serves as not only a gathering space for students, but also a cafeteria and a performance space.

Natural light and views also were important to the design. High ceilings and clerestory windows bring daylight into the classroom corridors, and floor-to-ceiling windows in the commons capture views of the mountains across the northern New Mexico Chama Valley.

The project was completed in three phases to enable the school to remain operable throughout construction. With a very constrained existing site, instruction spaces had to be relocated at each phase to keep students clear of demolition and construction activities.