New Elementary School, Casa Blanca Neighborhood School
The community of Casa Blanca has long envisioned the reopening of their neighborhood school, which closed in 1967 to facilitate desegregation. Since then, the Casa Blanca community has worked tirelessly to restore its beloved neighborhood school. It is an honor for GO Architects, Inc. to serve as Riverside USD's trusted architect and fulfill the community of Casa Blanca's long-held dream of getting their neighborhood school back.
After several meetings discussing guidelines, site key elements, and case study reviews, the Visioning Design Committee’s consensus was for the school design to be based on a “Learning Village Concept,” with the following characteristics: comprehensive, whole, interconnected, welcoming, and secure.
The school design organizes the classrooms into two-story grade clusters, or “Learning Villages” arranged around outdoor learning spaces and flexible lab/maker spaces. Each cluster provides flexible classroom utilization and multiple outdoor learning opportunities and maximizes daylighting for the education environment. These clusters are arranged along an outdoor “corridor” that connects all the other program elements with varied outdoor spaces. The different scales of outdoor rooms give the students a variety of communal spaces in which to interact with the full campus body.
The Casa Blanca campus will be comprised of six main buildings on a 9.8-acre site including one single-story Multipurpose building with attached Music Lab and Food Service Program, one single-story Administration/Library/Media Center/Special Education building, one Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms building, and three two-story “Learning Village” buildings that will house the first through sixth grade and special education classrooms. The campus will also include a lunch shelter, outdoor learning areas, courtyards, hardcourts, playfields, and parking lots.
The importance of community connection and involvement in the school will be made apparent at the main entrance as it will serve as a gesture of invitation and symbolize the significance of the school’s place in the community, as well as the community’s place in the school. Building areas used by the community, such as the administration, multi-purpose, and library buildings as well as the play yard, will be accessible from streets and parking areas with aesthetically pleasant security fencing around the perimeter of the buildings to isolate public areas from the rest of the school.
We are excited to see how this new school will reflect the community’s rich culture and contribute to neighborhood pride and community involvement.
Client / Owner
Riverside Unified School District
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