Designing Sunnyvale’s first-ever high school was as much about public emotion and civic self-image as about creating a dynamic learning environment. Sunnyvale High School opened in 2009 and, when full, will serve grades 9 to 12, students who previously attended high school in neighboring Mesquite Independent School District. Many in the community CAPACITY900COST PER SQ FT$180.14FEATURED IN2010 Architectural Portfolio for more than five years on goals for the new high school, a major part of which was deciding on the curriculum.
Most of the graduates go to college, and the school invited professionals in the community to provide input on the curriculum and the design of the learning spaces, visit with students, and put plans in place for internships.
The building is a bold palette of natural stone and natural light. Extensive amounts of daylighting brighten the lobbies, corridors and public spaces. Natural stone and ceramic tile are used throughout the school on floors and walls, inside and out.
The cafetorium has three food-service lines for student dining and a stepped floor for performances. A full auditorium is planned for a later phase, but until then, the fully equipped cafetorium includes stage, lighting and sound, and can seat 600 for a performance. Moreover, the lighting/sound-control boards were designed to be portable and are removed during the school-day lunch period.