The Natomas Charter School Resource Center is a 30,000 SF, first-generation tenant improvement specializing in assisting homeschool families in creating individualized education through a home and school partnership. The Resource Center is multifaceted in the sense that classrooms adapt throughout the day as various classes take place. Similar to a University setting. Students in this homeschooled program can participate in music, dance, science classes, etc. or utilize the resources like the library and multipurpose room. The goal of this project was to create flexibility within a learning environment to accommodate this style of individualized learning.
CHALLENGES + SOLUTIONS
The most challenging aspect of the design was the space plan because we had to essentially fit the entire program in ¾ of the building while the remainder was left unoccupied. We had to make assumptions with the unoccupied space for both future growth and/or leasable area. This became challenging for our exiting and code analysis. However, we designed a central stair in the lobby as a design feature and means of egress.
This was challenging because it is not your traditional school, and the space needed to reflect that.
– Lauren Wagner, CID
The original permit package did not include a central stair, thus revising the permit plans for the new hole in the second-floor slab and the addition of steel infrastructure. Also, the program had two very important aspects, classrooms and multipurpose rooms for the students and private offices and conference rooms for the teachers.
We decided the best approach was to design the second floor as a sanctuary for the teachers and staff while the first floor remained strictly an environment for the students. We worked closely with the client to make sure the second-floor requirements would transition seamlessly if the unoccupied space is to be used as future growth for Natomas Charter School or leasable space for a new tenant.
Incorporating greenery and bringing the outdoors in was a major theme throughout this project. Moss walls brought depth and life to the large double-height space in the lobby while the acoustical light fixtures helped dampen the sound amongst the hard, industrial surfaces. The key to this project was to excite the families and students who attend the programs provided at the Resource Center; therefore, a bold, colorful lobby was part of the initial program. The rest of the first floor encompasses classrooms, a multipurpose room, family break room, and student lounge while the second floor provides space for the staff including, private offices, meeting rooms, and a teacher’s lounge.
The vibrant colors were carried throughout the entire building paying tribute to the theme. Materials and finishes were selected to withstand the movement through this high traffic environment as well as provide shapes and patterns that stimulate creative learning. Overall, the space is fun and adaptable, just like the learning process emphasized in the programs taking place.
Client: Natomas Charter School
Contractor: DesCor Builders
Structural: PZSE Structural Engineers
Mechanical: Greer Mechanical and Neeley Mechanical Engineers
Electrical: Northstate Electrical Contractors
Plumbing: Sacramento Engineering Consultants