Because of substantial growth in San Luis, a border town in the southwest corner of Arizona, the Gadsden School District needed to build a new elementary school quickly and on a tight budget. The designers were able to meet the district’s schedule, which included phasing the construction to allow occupancy of 16 of the 24 classrooms before COST PER SQ FT$86.89FEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio completion.
Characteristics include: The school is divided into grade-level neighborhoods; each neighborhood is complemented with a computer lab; play fields are directly accessible from each grade-level wing; all classrooms include windows to allow natural light into the learning environment; the nurses’ area was designed with input from the community’s regional medical center. Direct parking lot access to this nursing station allows the medical center to sponsor clinics for the local community; in a climate where temperatures can exceed 120ºF, a series of canopies provides much-needed protection from the heat. These canopies also protect the school’s windows from direct sunlight, thus reducing heat gain and utility bills; the building’s ethnic flair reflects the community’s largely Hispanic population.
Photographer: ©Michael French