Stauffer Middle School

Downey, California

Bringing cohesion and modern spaces to an older campus.

In the southeast Los Angeles County community of Downey, an aging middle school campus was transformed with a combination of new and renovated spaces, as well as a reconfigured entry.

The district wanted to modernize and bring cohesion to a disjointed campus. Built in the 1950s, the learning environments were outdated, and due to a lack of space, Stauffer had been relying on 19 modular classroom structures to accommodate classes and faculty. Its administrative offices were inconveniently located halfway across the site.

LPA’s involvement began with a new campus-wide masterplan that created a new “front door” for the campus. In addition to a drop-off area and parking lot at the entrance to the school, a new library and media center building was constructed, with the library’s large overhanging roof forming the new covered entry. The media center includes a variety of spaces for students to collaborate and gather informally. A former classroom building was expanded into an administrative wing, including a landscaped outdoor lounge.

Stauffer’s existing classroom buildings were fully modernized, with new flexible furniture updated technology, and finish and lighting upgrades. An outdated home economics classroom was transformed into a state-of-the-art culinary classroom. Science labs were built in the former administrative wing. At the rear of the site, a new athletic building was equipped with locker rooms, fitness facilities, and aerobic workout space. The building also provides state-of-the-art music and drama spaces to supplement the strong performing arts program on campus.

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