Mountain Empire High School is located in a stunning valley of mature oaks, riparian corridors, and mountains with large granite outcroppings. The design goals are to accommodate a new Middle School and Science Center, increase overall accessibility and security, resolve storm water and flooding issues, and improve campus identity. We located a new Science Center at the juncture of the High School and Middle School campuses, adjacent to the Art rooms and so suggesting an “Art and Science” courtyard. New classrooms at the Middle School surround a lunch quad shaded by native sycamores. Along the front entry sequence from the bus drop-off area, a series of thick, low walls rake across the landscape and will provide both seating areas and protection for the high school. Storm water runoff will be collected in a linear rain garden where the water can infiltrate and aid in replenishing groundwater (the only water source for the campus). A bridge over the rain garden will link the entry walk with the building entry.
Pine Valley, CA
Fred Besançon, ASLA
Mountain Empire Unified School District