LPA-Designed Early Childhood Center, Modernization Project Earn Top C.A.S.H. Awards
LPA Design Studios’ K-12 practice was honored for its work on an inspiring, net-zero early childhood learning center and the modernization of an elementary school campus at the recent Coalition for Adequate Student Housing (C.A.S.H.) and American Institute of Architects, California (AIA CA) Leroy F. Greene Design & Planning Awards.
C.A.S.H. represents school facility professionals dedicated to developing quality, safe and healthy schools. The C.A.S.H./AIA CA awards recognize excellence in school design, and they are considered the state’s highest award for K-12 school design.
These projects demonstrate our integrated teams’ commitment, passion, and drive to have a positive impact on the communities that need it most. Each project is unique and a direct reflection of our clients’ vision.
The LPA K-12 team accepting this year's awards. (L-R) Darcie Gumbayan, Ozzie Tapia, Kate Mraw, Steven Key, Denise Flatley.
This year’s awards were handed out during the group’s 44th Annual Conference on School Facilities in Sacramento, Feb. 22-24. During this year’s conference, LPA led presentations on net zero schools, master planning for decarbonization, inclusive campus planning and outdoor learning environments.
“It’s always special to be honored by C.A.S.H., which provides leadership for people involved in school facility design,” says LPA Director of K-12 Kate Mraw. “C.A.S.H. is a tremendous advocate for the industry and the importance of evidence-based design.”
LPA is a multi-discipline design firm that takes a student-centric, research-driven approach to school design. With the addition of this year’s honors, LPA leads the state with a total of 45 Coalition for Adequate School Housing awards since 1991.
In this year’s ceremony, Cardinal Child Development Center for the San Bernardino City Unified School District earned the Award of Excellence, the group’s highest award, in the Project in Design category. The renovation and expansion of Sunkist Elementary School for the Anaheim Elementary School District earned an Award of Merit in the Modernization category.
They hit so many buttons with this project [Cardinal Child Development Center], and it doesn’t feel overworked. This school feels like a big hug – I would feel safe sending my young ones here.
Cardinal Child Development Center.
“These projects demonstrate our integrated teams’ commitment, passion, and drive to have a positive impact on the communities that need it most,” said LPA Design Director Ozzie Tapia. “Each project is unique and a direct reflection of our clients’ vision.”
The Cardinal Child Development Center was designed as part of a larger effort to master plan the district’s overall transitional TK response. LPA worked with a diverse district with a large population of low-income families, to create a facility that could serve as a model for future early childhood centers. The center will combine preschool and transitional TK programs in flexible, efficient buildings designed around outdoor zones with a variety of play and gathering spaces.
“They hit so many buttons with this project, and it doesn’t feel overworked,” the C.A.S.H./AIA CA jury said. “This school feels like a big hug – I would feel safe sending my young ones here.”
This project [Sunkist Elementary School] transforms the existing learning space for a low cost per square foot and it feels like a whole new school. It’s a direct and simple approach, and a great use of ‘sun kissed’ yellow. The color transforms the space.
The design for the Sunkist Elementary School draws inspiration from the area’s agricultural heritage and arts curriculum to create a haven for students and community. Two new buildings, along with a sensitive modernization of three existing structures, are focused on providing equity in the educational experience. Wellness goals are integrated into every educational space, including access to daylight and meaningful views, dedicated collaboration spaces, repurposed courtyards as outdoor learning environments and integration of active design principles to encourage movement and activity.
Jury members praised the project’s impactful blend of beauty and economy: “This project transforms the existing learning space for a low cost per square foot and it feels like a whole new school. It’s a direct and simple approach, and a great use of ‘sun kissed’ yellow. The color transforms the space.”