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exterior of the quad and connected buildings, split section red stairs with steps and seating, white building with angular steel roof, concrete pathways, pea gravel landscaping, trees, grass
Agua Fria High School Renovation​

Revitalizing a 70-year-old Namesake High School


Agua Fria Union High School District #216

Project Location

Avondale, AZ


1,600 students


71,000 SF

​​Alongside West Valley community members in Arizona, Agua Fria Union High School District leaders established a goal for all learning environments to be future-ready, reinforce the professional development of educators, and enable innovative and diverse learning styles. While new schools built across the district are designed to achieve this benchmark, district leaders challenged us to integrate elements into older schools with existing structures and systems to bring the same opportunities for all students. Our redevelopment plan for the district’s namesake campus, Agua Fria High School, overlays a future vision for teaching and learning at an existing school, reusing the best features and adding new buildings to create a unified and future-facing campus.

​The transformation of this West Valley icon enhances the heart of the campus through interconnectivity and cohesive indoor/outdoor learning environments. Exterior features are integral to the redesigned campus. Agua Fria High School is the district’s first campus to make outdoor learning directly accessible to every instructional space and to incorporate engineered passive climate control of those spaces. Learning labs directly link to both interior and exterior environments, allowing learning to occur anywhere and any way. The original quad, renamed the Esplanade, further blurs the lines between inside and outside spaces and recenters the campus core. New buildings provide connections between the existing library and the Esplanade for more integrated learning opportunities and better access to educational resources. An exterior learning stair serves as a bridge to the formal and informal learning happening on the upper and lower levels.

​Phase one, completed in 2020, established the nucleus of forward-looking educational environments through the modernization of three buildings ranging in age from 1957 to 1999. Phase two, which opened in 2023, replaced two outdated classroom buildings with new environments that blend interior and exterior and encourage students to use the entire campus in their learning activities.

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