Having spent many years in portable classrooms, Hope Christian Schools (HCS) sought to move their elementary school into a permanent location and expand their student population. The new private school is a response to restrictive site conditions, needs for safety and a strict budget, all while maintaining an emphasis on student learning and development. To achieve a final cost of approximately $140 per square foot, less than half the market rate for a comparable public school in the Albuquerque area, it was critical that the design strategy maximize value. While much of the school is necessarily modest, utilizing simple and traditional materials and massing, spatial and material quality is elevated in the common areas. Mezzanine corridors open to the double height volume of the cafeteria, exposed glulam beams, and expansive glazing capturing views of the Sandia Mountains provide dynamic and exciting environments that anchor the plan both internally and to the local context.
The parti aims to maximize the usable area of the site by branching two double-loaded classroom wings off a central hub containing the cafeteria and admin areas. The L-shape formed by the classroom wings shelters a playground providing the school with a private and secure outdoor gathering area.
Light filled public areas such as the library, cafeteria, and stairwells punctuate the plan, providing natural light and opening the building to the exterior.

Albuquerque, NM

60,300 SF

Elementary School

Jon Anderson, FAIA

Project Manager:
Dean Cowdrey, AIA

General Contractor:

Kirk Gittings