Chico High School Addition
Design Achievement – Founded in 1902, the Chico High School campus resembles a great American university setting with its classic masonry. On a campus rich with history and mature landscape, it becomes vital for any new architecture to accomplish two things: respect the past and embrace the future. DLR Group's design of the new Chico High School Classroom Building is a contemporary re-presentation of conditions found on campus: strong horizontal white planes, brick massing, and repetitive storefront glass. The new building incorporates the masonry and concrete elements while adding a more transparent front to the community, improving the campus appearance and inviting the community to look and learn.
Scope Summary – The scope of this project called for a new 42,000 SF classroom building on the exiting Chico High School campus. The design created a new campus edge to the community, as well as a new secondary entry portal. The building's shape and orientation on the site were carefully developed in order to save as many of the campus' mature trees and to allow for maximum daylight entering the learning areas at all times of day. The design includes 16 classrooms, three science labs, and a student commons. The project is Collaborative High Performance Schools Verified. Sustainable features include an advanced mechanical system with indirect/direct evaporative cooling and displacement ventilation modeled to save 22 percent of HVAC costs per year; high efficiency direct/indirect lighting; and a high-tech approach to maximize daylight harvesting by using daylighting and glare analysis modeling. The design received an Award of Honor from the Coalition for Adequate School Housing. DLR Group provided architecture, planning, and interiors services.
Past and future
On a high school campus rich with history and mature landscape, it becomes vital for any new architecture on the site to accomplish two things: respect the past and...embrace the future. This was both the challenge and ultimately the accomplishment for the design of this new high school classroom building.
Because the campus resembles a great American university setting with classic masonry structures, it was important to use materials from the surrounding context of campus and community. The highly visible location, along a busy city street, required that the new building make a positive impact on the community at large as well as the students and staff members who would directly interact with the architecture.
Early in the planning stages the design team led community workshops engaging school district officials, school administration and faculty, students and community stakeholders in setting five "memorable goals" to define the focus and measure the success of the project:
- Develop engaging environments that support and encourage all learners and teachers.
- Provide supportive intervention strategies that improve student performances and attitudes.
- Create a welcoming environment that improves community pride and embraces school and community history.
- Improve student learning by enhancing staff interaction and collaboration.
- Provide students with expanded educational choices and opportunities that change and adapt to their needs.
Each of these goals clearly set the pace for social responsibility through sustainable design, honoring the existing campus parameters in natural landscape elements as well as historical architectural elements inherent in the surrounding residential community.
The architectural language of the building is a contemporary re-presentation of conditions found on campus: strong horizontal white planes, brick massing and repetitive storefront glass. The new buildings incorporate the masonry and concrete elements while adding a more transparent front to the community, improving the campus appearance and inviting the community to look and learn.
The sustainable design approach is achieved by shaping the building to preserve all existing mature trees, minimizing the hard-scape and site disturbance. Water efficiency is maintained through low-flow fixtures reducing consumption of potable water. Indirect evaporative cooling and white, reflective rooftop coating reduce the heat island effect and aid in thermal comfort. This project is targeted for CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools) certification.
Award of Honor
Coalition for Adequate School Housing and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), California Council