Dover Elementary School

San Pablo, California

The Dover Elementary School project addresses the school and community, emphasizing redevelopment of a blighted, crowded school in a low-income neighborhood. The project will bring the campus up to state standards, provide adequate program space and create an inspiring learning environment.

Design challenges included constrained ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY626COST PER SQ FT$425.00FEATURED IN2010 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress size, campus/neighborhood security, overpopulation of aging portables, and an existing campus layout that hampered supervision of the playground spaces and encouraged vagrancy/vandalism. The school also has a multitude of student/community programs to be accommodated: counseling, music/movement, tutoring, conflict resolution, adult ESL, after-school programs and a social-services referral center.

The layout of the campus is organized around two main hubs that are seen as central to community involvement with the school: the school administration area and the multipurpose building. The design also maximizes open play space and outdoor learning environments. Limited access points to the campus and buildings provides better control of visitors.

The connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces is a manifestation of the unique teaching approaches undertaken at this site, as the outdoor edible and habitat teaching gardens support the nutrition/cooking program and science curriculum.