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Courtyard front entry to Liberty High School with palm tree lined concrete walkway, building on 3 sides with large windows, blue accents
Liberty High School

Personalizing Education through Choice, Connections, and Comradery


Perris Union High School District

Project Location

Winchester, CA


268,000 SF



The vision for the new Liberty High School was largely influenced by the greater school community of students, teachers, administrators, business leaders, nearby higher education institutions, and community members. Our process kicked off with a four-day design symposium and continued with a site visit to understand the surroundings and topography. We also led individual focus group sessions with subject matter experts in instruction, science, athletics, arts, and more (centers for applied learning core academics, performing arts, administration/student support, student union/nutritional services, learning commons, and plant operations). The resulting design is an inviting campus centered on three primary academic concepts: small learning communities; centers for applied learning; and the center for advanced science exploration.

For the first time in its history, the district introduced SLCs as the organizing component for this 2,600-student campus. Four SLCs personalize the learning experience and create an intimate place where students want to be. Each of the four SLCs is comprised of decentralized administration, a teacher professional center, and instructional areas to accommodate centers for applied learning that are defined from student interests, community input, local labor trends, and integration with local community college programs. The centers support career paths in business; health sciences; engineering & design; and public safety & leadership. In addition, the center for advanced science exploration, which is accessible by each SLC, provides specialized lab environments for the application and exploration of the sciences.

Building Connections by Design

Our design team carefully integrated spaces to maximize flexibility, collaboration, and socialization throughout the campus. These three core elements combine to create a place where students want to be and an environment that ensures all students are successful in their educational journey.


Personal Choice

Students can move comfortably between group instruction, individual research, project team activities, and applied learning labs. They can take advantage of both interior and exterior circulation paths within their SLCs to arrive at their desired location.


Transparency in the design allows for ease of supervision as students move in and about campus, utilizing the entire site for learning. Additionally, the campus’ linear plan allows for the shifting of teaching stations to and between adjacent SLCs while retaining proximity during enrollment fluctuations.

Outdoor seating area with white canopy overhead. Glass wall left with blue accent around doors. View of courtyard and palm trees
Front entrance of high school with blue mounted hallway on glass face. White angular canopy from roof, white wrap facade


SLCs are designed around open collaboration rooms on each floor that serve as the nexus of group learning. A series of outdoor and indoor spaces in key locations offer students multiple options to complete their work where they are most comfortable.


Professional centers resourced with lounge-styled furniture, shared workstations, white boards, and conference rooms enhance the ability for teachers to explore programs and teaching strategies. These dedicated spaces bring educators together as a team to develop inter-disciplinary lessons for their students.

Interior double height 1st floor seating area with view to courtyard. Geometric yellow toned photo mural, blue accent wall
Upper level mixed seating area with orange couches and blue booths and stools in common space with tables to work on homework

Student-Centered Culture

Re-envisioning the library as a learning commons creates a collaborative learning environment able to host small and medium sized groups. While the learning commons is intended to be a loud and lively space, private project rooms are available for students and small groups that desire a quiet environment.


The student union is a multi-use environment that serves as the social hub of campus. It is easily supervised both indoor and out through expansive glass walls.

Mixed comfortable seating in common area with walls of windows surrounding room, white ceiling, blue and orange accents
Common area in large double height hallway, closed off space above with blue accents

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