LPA Receives Triple Honors for K-12 Schools Design

LPA’s renovation and expansion work for Fremont High School and Paramount High School, and a master plan for Irvine Unified School District receive awards at the 2014 California School Housing Conference.

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) February 27, 2014 — Pulling a hat trick at this year’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing/American Institute of Architects California Council’s awards program, three LPA projects were recognized for high quality K-12 schools design and planning.

Unlike a number of award programs which judge projects solely on their architectural merits, the CASH/AIA California Council jury is made up of both architects and school representatives, who are looking at projects from an educational perspective. As a result, LPA Design Principal Wendy Rogers, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, describes these awards as a “more encompassing honor.”

For example, Fremont High School in Los Angeles, Calif., won a Leroy F. Green Design and Planning Award of Honor for successfully reorganizing the school’s core educational programs into small learning communities; enhancing community appeal with a new entry plaza, parking lot and re-imaged building elevations; and creating a new student-focused library and cafeteria.

Tasked with visibly transforming the school’s image while maintaining the existing brick cladding, the design team – headed up by Project Designer Keith Hempel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and Project Manager Sam Lim – came up with the idea of adding perforated metal panels to both establish a new identity and minimize solar heat gain on the west façade.

The building design highlights the dedicated administration program adjacent to the educational learning environments for each community. The perforated panels are disrupted, and the SLC is expressed on the facade for greater identity, according to Rogers.

Located in an urban south central Los Angeles neighborhood, a prominent theme of this project was building connections, both internally within the school itself, and externally with the surrounding community. For students, the small learning communities promote a sense of identity; the new indoor-outdoor cafeteria encourages school spirit and together with the library provides an exciting place for students to collaborate before and after school.

“This project was about instilling the value of education to the students and neighborhood,” explains Rogers. “Our design creates a new urban entry plaza to update the look of the school and connect the campus to the surrounding neighborhood.”

From a sustainable perspective, a high-efficiency central plant, high-efficiency lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and the use of regional materials with recycled content will help the project pursue LEED for Schools Silver certification and Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) verification. The project is projected to consume 30 percent less energy and 30 percent less potable water than comparable baseline facilities.

Meanwhile, at Paramount High School, in Paramount, Calif., the application of masonry block, steel, glass and concrete to blend new high-performance buildings into the existing campus with a sense of scale and rhythmic unity has helped earn a CASH/AIACC Award of Excellence in the Modernization/Reconstruction category.

The program scope includes a two-story academic science facility to replace 20 aging, relocatable buildings, a new athletic stadium, field house, mini-gym and library/media center.

Aimed at revitalizing the school campus within the community, the building project was aligned with the “Paramount Experience” beautification efforts going on throughout the city. As the city’s only high school, the new stadium helps unify the community for sporting events, the new library and mini-gym are available for community use, and a sculpture garden in the library’s entrance courtyard was created by the city’s local art program.

Commenting on the overall building project, one judge remarked, “It has a wonderful design feeling that evokes mid-century modern school design, yet it’s totally current and feels timeless. The team has used sophisticated, yet subtle materials and forms, and the interiors are accentuated by great quantities of light through window and skylight placements and treatments. It’s a simple design, but not at all boring or dull.”

While the original building facades are brick masonry, LPA went with CMU block of the same color, size and modularity to update approximately half of the campus. This way the concrete masonry delivers both durability and a high-performance building enclosure while preserving the historic fabric of the school.

Each building has also been designed to include operable windows, daylighting, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, healthy materials with recycled content and solar power. Tracking CHPS Verified Certification, Savings by Design and a High Performance School Design review through the Division of the State Architect, the project is projected to beat Title 24 standards by 30 percent.

LPA picked up another Award of Excellence, this one in the K-12 Facilities Master Planning category, in recognition of a Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan performed for the Irvine Unified School District in Orange County, Calif.

Engaging more than 750 people through an extensive community outreach process, LPA delivered a demographic analysis, facilities needs assessment, educational specifications and an implementation plan to help the district re-envision their learning spaces and educational goals. In addition, an energy master plan defines investment grade energy audits in order to reduce energy costs.

“This is an excellent piece of work and an amazingly comprehensive and complex analysis of the entire district,” observed one awards judge.

LPA was also praised for its stakeholder outreach and involvement throughout the project phases.

“We have a client-centered process that is supported by our integrated team of experts,” explains Rogers. “We base the master plan approach on thorough research and analysis, and the successful outcomes are ultimately a result of our ability to build strong community authorship.”

Fremont High School
7676 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90003

Paramount High School
14429 Downey Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723

Online Photo Gallery: http://www.lpaimages.com/Param... CASHThe Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) was formed in 1978 to promote, develop, and support state and local funding for K-12 construction. CASH Membership contains more than 1,500 school districts, county offices and private sector businesses including: architects, attorneys, consultants, construction managers, financial institutions, modular building manufacturers, contractors, developers, and others that are in the school facilities industry. Since 1982, CASH has sponsored or supported over $52 billion in statewide school bonds to build and/or modernize thousands of schools.

About LPA Inc.

Founded in 1965, LPA has nearly 200 employees with offices in Irvine, Roseville, San Diego and San Jose, Calif. The firm provides services in architecture, sustainability, planning, interior design, landscape architecture, engineering, and graphics. There is no “Sustainability Director,” at LPA. Instead, more than 80% of the professionals are LEED accredited, including the Human Resources Director, CFO, and several other support staff. With extensive experience in public and private architecture, LPA designs a diversity of facilities that span from K-12 schools, colleges and universities, to corporate and civic establishments. More than 500 major design awards attest to LPA's commitment to design excellence. For more information, visit http://www.lpadesignstudios.com

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