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Agua Caliente Elementary School courtyard viewed from 2nd floor exposed walkway. Round garden spaces between 2 story building
Agua Caliente Elementary School

A Neighborhood Spurred by Education

Client

Palm Springs Unified School District

Project Location

Cathedral City, CA

Area

63,000 SF

Students

850

The original Agua Caliente Elementary School was built in 1961 to support the Dream Homes neighborhood in Cathedral City – a local development of mostly first-time home buyers. However, decades of use deteriorated the campus beyond repair and a replacement school was necessary to maintain its legacy and cultural significance in the community. The new, modernized school is a symbol of rebirth in an emerging community, creating a safe gathering and philanthropic space fit for both adults and children. The new campus remains on a circular site at the epicenter of the neighborhood, reinforcing the emphasis on education in the surrounding community.

Our design draws heavily from the desert modernism that typifies the Palm Springs region. The two-story structure naturally draws the eyes up, while courtyards perfectly frame breathtaking views of the nearby San Jacinto Mountains for students and staff to enjoy. The school’s unique science-focused curriculum creates an inquisitive environment that is supported by multiple indoor and outdoor collaboration spaces.

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