Rio Del Norte Elementary School

Oxnard, California

Rio del Norte Elementary School, for the Rio School District in Oxnard, Calif., houses 625 K-6 students and provides shared community facilities.

The $7.3 million construction budget included infrastructure to support high-tech electronic communications and teaching aids. Classrooms are enhanced with smart walls, integrating electronic and basic ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY625COST PER SQ FT$159.00FEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio systems.

Classroom clusters are configured so that each building is entered through a formal facade, with students circulating through a central tech lab to reach their classrooms. Each cluster has an accompanying detached restroom building that is available at all hours for public use.

Energy-conserving design features provide natural light and ventilation throughout the facility. Pyramid skylights illuminate the classrooms; operable windows are glazed with high-performance glass; and ceiling fans circulate air to increase comfort and alleviate the need for forced air.

The site is organized around a strong axis, beginning at the point of entry and organizing buildings to either side. Visual orientation is achieved by the use of color and form. The result is a lively new benchmark for education within this growing community.