Ahh…the 1,300 acre Orange County Great Park. Back in 2006 the City chose Ken Smith Workshop to master plan this former Marine Crops station into a visionary metropolitan “oasis”. Their design, set to rival NYC’s Central Park and San Diego’s Balboa Park, included a man-made canyon, public gathering places, theatres and museums, as well as a lake. After nearly 40-million dollars spent on a schematic master plan, the project came to a halt due to lack of funding during the economic downturn.
Fortunately, last November the City signed a deal with Five Point Communities that would fund the construction of 688 acres of the park. The plans include construction of new homes (known as the “Great Park Neighborhoods“) around the park as well as a sports complex, golf course and, in keeping with the original vision, a wildlife corridor (“bosque”). The proposed developments are to be completed in the span of the next five years. Here is a graphic from the OC Register:
The New K-8 School in Great Park Neighborhoods
PJHM architects designed the new K-8 school for Irvine Unified School District, located within District 1 of the Great Park Neighborhoods. This 77,000 square feet school is expected to open in 2016 with a maximum enrollment of 1,000 students. Incorporated in the plans for this new K-8 school are 3 kindergarten classrooms with shared flex space, 3 dedicated music rooms, food service with covered outdoor court, media center and reading room, 3 dedicated grade level wings each having separate indoor and outdoor learning spaces, 21 standard classrooms, 3 upper grade science rooms, a fitness room, innovation and design labs as well as space for counseling and life learning skills. Irvine Unified School District values quality high-tech learning environments and thus has high design standards to accommodate learning spaces for a rigorous curriculum. Through a series of meetings with the steering and design committees of IUSD, PJHM developed a campus plan to not only meet IUSD standards but also implement CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools) standards. PJHM also worked closely with Five Point Communities to coordinate landscape and building materials to reflect the spirit of the surrounding community.
The Heritage Fields new K-8 school is one of more than a dozen schools that PJHM Architects has designed for the Irvine Unified School District.