Norco Intermediate School

Designed by Ruhnau Clarke Architects, Norco Intermediate School includes a renovated library, administration, and multipurpose buildings that prioritize creating a sense of community in Norco, California.

  • area / size 37,195 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • The modernization project of Norco Intermediate School focuses on the main public-facing building to create a strong sense of identity, curb appeal, and school and community pride while supporting students and staff with functional modern facilities. The renovated library, administration, and multipurpose buildings maximize opportunities to build relationships, create a sense of community, and work together. The design team drew inspiration from Norco’s history as a haven for independent farms and a refuge from city life. We incorporated rustic materials, playing with textures and colors to create visual and tactile interest.

    The multipurpose room opens into an outdoor gathering area to the north and a lobby to the west, which doubles as a student gallery and the main access point to the building during public events. The lobby also connects to a state-of-the-art weight room and fitness center with direct access to playing fields and locker rooms. The multipurpose room also includes a performing arts stage that doubles as a classroom and faces the bleachers in the gym. The flexibility of the space helps create flow and engages students and community members for different activities.

    Expanding the undersized administration building and creating a welcoming space that helps manage campus access for security was a top priority for the school district. The new administration building has a lobby and waiting area, and a receptionist welcomes parents and community members to the school.

    In addition, the library continues the rustic yet modern design approach. It’s a wide and open space with large doors and windows, maximizing daylight for productivity and focus. Furniture throughout the space is arranged in various configurations, from semi-circles to circles, and rows, giving students the options to work collaboratively or independently.

    The design for Norco-Intermediate School connects the built environment to nature in material, form and openness. There is a weathering of the land that is reflected in the buildings’ facades and an intentional connection to open space via pathways and vistas. The design objective was to increase the School’s prominence and presence with a redesigned street frontage, articulate Norco Intermediates identity through the design while providing safety and security for students and staff and emphasize a connection to the local nature and environment.

    Design: Ruhnau Clarke Architects
    Contractor: West Coast Air
    Photography: RMA Photography