Housed in the shell of a former discount store, Pueblo Elementary School helps to reinvigorate a blighted commercial strip in Pomona, Calif.
This 1,200-student elementary school is part of the Pomona Educational Village, a multiuse educational facility designed to accommodate an exploding immigrant population. The building is divided into two manageable clusters of CAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$125.00CITATIONElementary School CitationFEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio to 600 students. These clusters act as self-contained facilities while sharing common spaces such as food service and the media center. Glass-lined corridors let natural light flow through the spaces and allow easy monitoring of the site. This design creates a feeling of small villages within a larger urban setting. The flexibility of the spaces provides growing room to meet the district’s future needs.
The school maintains separation from the rest of the shopping center through the use of secured gated entrances and dropoff areas, but still works as part of the whole. Extra space on the site accommodates support services for the school and district, including a library/media center and a teacher training facility. The rear parking lot has become a playfield.
"The adaptation of an old shopping mall into light-filled and appropriate spaces is skillfully done and visually exciting."--2001 jury