March 6th, 2014
Last week, HMC’s Pre-K–12 practice received two design awards at the C.A.S.H./AIACC Leroy F. Greene Design and Planning Awards Ceremony in Sacramento. The firm was honored with Awards of Excellence for Hillcrest High School and the Pioneer School.
Hillcrest High School, Alvord Unified School District
Hillcrest High School is a high-tech academic hub and community resource in Riverside. A separate ninth grade academy nurtures new high school students, while teacher collaboration rooms allow for the development of a rigorous mathematics curriculum and hands-on science program. The school also features a range of joint-use facilities, making it a vital community asset.
During the awards ceremony we took detailed notes on the jury’s comments. Below are some of the key points that made Hillcrest High School a standout project:
// Project resulted from a comprehensive master plan supporting district’s concept of choice
// Created a high school with an emphasis on science and math
// Provision of teacher collaboration spaces allowed a higher classroom utilization rate
// Angled building placement resulted in appropriate solar orientation and also reduced scale of building frontage, increasing overall “curb appeal”
// Created a real university feel through building placement/massing scale and configuration of outdoor spaces
Pictured L to R: John Nichols (HMC), Herb Calderon (Alvord USD Assistant Superintendent), Angel Hosband (HMC)
Pioneer School, Delano Union School District
Built on a hardship budget, the academic villages at Pioneer School lead students through their educational progression from Pre-K through eighth grade. Grade levels are strategically distributed across the campus and given their own identity, and a strong emphasis was placed on creating outdoor learning environments that allow learning to happen everywhere. Integrating a joint-use gymnasium and library into the campus for use by the adjacent high school and surrounding community enhances the opportunities for area residents and students to learn, while conserving community resources.
Jury comments on Pioneer School:
// Integrated planning was critical to comply with hardship budget and fit in/align with already-existing adjacent schools
// Site planning created a nice progression through educational journey, from Kindergarten onward
// Break down of spaces allows for flexibility
// This is modern architecture that will stand the test of time
// Playful design is fun without being too fussy
// Nice site plan—avoids rigidity and symmetry
// All this on a hardship budget: nicely done!
Pictured L to R: John Nichols (HMC), Jenny Hanna (Kern County Facilities Office of Ed), Andy Thompson (HMC), Dr. Robert Aguilar (Delano USD Superintendant), Frank Herrerra (Delano Board Member), and Jack Tillman (Delano Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation Director)
February 24th, 2014
The February issue of the C.A.S.H. Register features a profile on South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) and it use of the HMC/Project Frog Impact building. After passing Measure J, a $162 million bond to replace aging portable classrooms across multiple campuses, the district was faced with answering the questions:
// How do you deliver 250,000 square feet of desperately needed school facilities when incremental change will not suffice?
// How do you bring innovation to a district that serves more than 9,000 students without the luxury of time or extensive resources?
Frustrated with current modular solutions but unable to accept the prolonged schedule associated with traditional construction, the district sought an innovative solution that could fulfill their goal to provide healthy and flexible, permanent school buildings for current and future students. Ultimately, the district found its answer in the Impact buildings, Project Frog’s next generation building platform specifically designed around the needs of 21st century learning.
HMC partnered with Project Frog on the design of Impact. The two companies worked hand-in-hand during the system design phase to integrate HMC’s architectural and domain expertise with Project Frog’s component system criteria. More than 300,000 square feet of new Impact buildings for education have been specified for both portable replacement and new campus building solutions in California.
February 20th, 2014
The Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) is hosting their 35th annual conference February 24-26, 2014 and HMC’s Alex Parslow is presenting, “Take Control or Be Controlled – Maintaining Our Investment.” HMC’s Kevin Wilkeson is participating in panel titled, “You CAN Get There from Here! Transforming Existing Schools, One Step at a Time” and Lee Salin is a panel member on, “The Top 10 Ways You are Screwing Up Your Construction Program (and Probably Don’t Know It).”
February 6th, 2014
The AIA San Joaquin chapter recently recognized Delano USD’s Pioneer School with an Award of Merit in Education Design. Built on a hardship budget, the academic villages at Pioneer School lead students through their educational progression from Pre-K–8 to the neighboring high school. Grade levels are strategically distributed and given their own identity, and a strong emphasis was placed on creating outdoor learning environments that allow learning to happen everywhere.
January 20th, 2014
HMC and the Fresno County Office of Education were recently honored with a CalSPRA Excellence in Communication Award for the article, “Build Understanding, Build Successful Projects,” which was published in HMC’s School News. CalSPRA (California School Public Relations Association) is the professional organization of communications professionals from school districts and county offices throughout California. The organization strives to advance education through responsible communication that creates better public understanding and support of public education.
HMC partnered with the Fresno County Office of Education on the article “Build Understanding, Build Successful Projects” to inform California school districts and counties, along with A/E/C partners, about the collaborative dialogue that is going on at the Central Valley Successful Projects Workshops. The goal of the workshops is to educate the K-12 sector on the construction process, while also educating the A/E/C industry on the issues that K-12 clients face. Defining each party’s perspective and having empathy for their roles and specific challenges allows the entire project team to work toward win-win solutions, rather than disputing decisions throughout the course of a project. The article outlines the goals and agenda of the four-part workshop series, addresses the future vision of the workshop organizers, and concludes with an inside look of lessons from a variety of attendees. The CalSPRA award jurors commented that article was clear, engaging writing for a complicated subject, and that the use of quotes as lessons learned was insightful.
January 17th, 2014
USGBC Los Angeles recently hosted their 9th Annual Green Gala and Los Angeles USD’s Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies was recognized with a Sustainability in Innovation Award. The award acknowledges built projects in Los Angeles County that demonstrate innovation in one or more categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design.
January 9th, 2014
According to Architectural Record’s article, “Modular Classroom Makeover,” new designs for portable school buildings make improvements that are more than cosmetic. HMC’s collaboration with Project Frog on the South San Francisco USD project is sited as one of the examples that are changing the future of portable classrooms.
“The mention of “portable” classrooms—or any similar term—puts fear into the hearts of parents with school-age children. Regardless of whether you call them portable, modular, or temporary classrooms, they conjure up unwelcome images of shoebox-like structures with few windows, stuffy air, and noisy and ineffective mechanical systems. But now several design firms, nonprofit organizations, and prefab building companies are developing improved portable classrooms that address these problems and allow schools to expand quickly and sustainably…”
December 20th, 2013
Recently, HMC joined Milpitas Unified School District at the Milpitas High School’s Aquatics Complex groundbreaking ceremony. The district is upgrading their pool facility to accommodate the school’s current and future PE classes, competitive swimming and diving programs.
Designed to complement the existing athletic complex and campus, the project features a 30-meter pool, a lap/warming pool and a pool facilities building. The main competition pool features twelve swimming lanes, a diving board platform and pool depth of up to 13 feet. The pool deck layout between the main pool and the warm-up pool is designed to provide flexible deck space for bleachers and removable site furniture, which can be used for spectators’ seating and a team’s gathering area. The pool facilities building includes space for boys’ and girls’ lockers, restrooms, showers and storage for pool equipment.
Surrounded by playing fields, the aquatics complex is designed to be a lantern and beacon within the larger athletic complex. The main features of the building design are translucent panels that accomplish the dual purpose of providing diffused natural daylight inside the locker rooms while protecting students’ visual privacy, and acting as a lively beacon that illuminates during evening swim meets, local community gatherings and events.
Honed concrete block and translucent wall panels provide a simple cost-effective solution that integrates with the other existing buildings on campus by complementing a neutral color palette. The design also responds to the school’s requests for durable, corrosion resistant and easily maintainable materials. In addition, the sustainable features of the building include natural day lighting, regional material selection, and provisions for solar water heating.
In a collaborative effort with the high school principal and staff, HMC engaged students by creating design guidelines for a swimming and diving logo competition. The selected logo design will be featured on the front of the building and is currently shown on the building elevation.