Altura Elementary School
Altura Elementary School was originally constructed in 1964 as a set of three, free-standing “pods” connected by open-air walkways. After 45 years of growth, combined with change in education, the campus was littered with mobile classroom units, freestanding additions, and unused asphalt paving. A 2007 renovation added air conditioning and enclosed the outdoor walkways, but failed to address student security, traffic flow, or the need for a building that could be a source of pride for students, faculty, and the community.
Humphries Poli Architects was retained in 2010 to re-envision the campus and provide a full-building renovation and addition to support the growing student population and educational requirements for the coming decades. The project began at the campus scale, resolving dangerous conflicts between school bus drop-offs, parent drop-off and parking, and local traffic flows. A thorough programming effort developed a plan to meet the school’s needs in a way that provided maximum long-term flexibility in conditions of tight capital and operational budgets. The school’s original low, dark buildings were uplifted by a set of three celebrated additions for the main entry, cafeteria, and media center. In each addition, a soaring roofline opened to high windows to create light-filled, inspiring spaces. A new classroom wing completed the design with provisions for maximum pedagogical and technological flexibility.
At every stage of the project, Humphries Poli Architects delivered a unique combination of skills derived from its extensive experience in master planning, educational design, and complex phased building renovation projects. The result is an inspiring design that delivers maximum results for the school district’s investment.