South Lake Tahoe High School

South Lake Tahoe, California

An innovative campus earns CASH ‘Excellence in Design’ award

The five-phase development of the South Lake Tahoe High School campus began with a District Facilities Master Plan, covering the design and financing of four different buildings. The plan included the Career Technical Education (CTE) “Green” Construction and Transportation Academy, a classroom building, the Tahoe Arts and Design Academy (TADA) and a new Campus Commons Student Union and Sports Medicine Academy.

The campus design incorporates several sustainable, progressive features to connect with its environment. Sharp angles and a cantilevered second floor match the natural and exposed woods of the buildings, allowing the complex to blend seamlessly into the famed Tahoe wilderness. Roof pitches promote snowmelt both on the northern and southern sides of the buildings, collecting water for each building’s needs. Masonry block provides durability and thermal mass, complemented with recycled horizontal fiber cement panels that provide natural fire resistance in the warmer months and a maintenance-free exterior.

The TADA was modeled after a Hollywood studio. Bringing a new level of innovation to high school arts curriculum, it features 28,000 square feet of editing suites, a Foley sound stage and ongoing partnerships with Los Angeles studios. This “Hollywood in the Sierras” concept is a flagship piece of this marquee educational project, which won a Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) award in 2011 for Excellence in Design.

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