New Construction

Calif. District Opens First Phase of K–12 Campus

The Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of Abram Agnew Elementary School and Dolores Huerta Middle School, representing the completion of the first phase of an all-in-one K–12 campus. When complete, the Agnews K–12 Campus will combine elementary-, middle- and high-school students onto a single 55-acre campus in San Jose, Calif.

The district partnered with LPA Design Studios on the project. “These schools are many years in the making, and we are honored to have collaborated with the district and Swinerton, our construction partner, to bring them to life,” said David Eaves, LPA studio director. “The campus will support the academic and social growth of students for generations.”

The final phase of the campus, Kathleen MacDonald High School, is scheduled for completion in time for the 2022–23 school year. A news release states that the three schools will share an aesthetic, but each will have its own age-appropriate scale and school colors. Each building will feature collaborative learning areas geared toward the age group in question. Blended amenities and outdoor learning areas will allow for the co-mingling of each school’s students, promoting mentorship opportunities.

According to the LPA website, the elementary school has a capacity of 600 students and covers 56,710 square feet. The middle school holds 1,000 students and covers 103,614 square feet. The high school will hold 1,600 and measure in at 192,230 square feet. The entire facility is built on the former site of the Agnews Developmental Center, a mental hospital that closed in the early 2000s.

“When you visit our classrooms, you will find spaces that rival those of our neighbors in Silicon Valley,” said SCUSD Superintendent Dr. Stella M. Kemp. “Places where people collaborate, develop solutions to real-world problems…and develop the mindset and skills to be resilient and future leaders in our community.”

Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, the new middle school’s namesake, attended the ribbon-cutting celebration. “I know what all of us are thinking,” she said at the ceremony. “I wish I could’ve gone to this school.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].