Palm View Elementary School

Ruhnau Clarke Architects redesigned Palm View Elementary School in Coachella with modern facilities, and efficient layout for over 800 students, safety measures, and environmental considerations.

  • area / size 55,190 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • Palm View Elementary School sits in the heart of Downtown Coachella, a growing rural and agricultural community in the Colorado Desert. Despite existing socioeconomic challenges, the area is slowly growing, and district leaders wanted to modernize Palm View Elementary School to accommodate more students and support new technologies and pedagogies. However, asbestos difficulties and other structural challenges proved that renovating then 1928 building would not be feasible, and the district instead set their sights on demolishing the older campus and re-building on the existing site.

    The new Palm View Elementary School includes a new administration building, a new two-story classroom building, and multipurpose room. The two-story education building design efficiently houses over 800 students and opens up valuable real estate for playfields, outdoor learning, and parking. It includes the media center/technology hub, commons, and labs. These spaces include new universal technology, support updated curriculums, and gives students the opportunity to collaborate, learn, and socialize. The admin building stands proudly at the front of the school and serves as a welcoming place for students, parents, and community members. The new multipurpose room serves as a gym and auditorium and connects to the cafeteria, providing a shaded seating area for students. It also includes meeting spaces and a parent center, and it’s fenced off from the rest of the campus to maximize security.

    Other safety measures on campus include separate drop off zones for buses, and designated parking lots for staff members, visitors, and parents. Throughout campus there are protected spaces and playgrounds for young children in a village environment. To protect students from the heat, the team used highly efficient air conditioning systems and various shade structures in outside play areas. Low-e glass windows provide ample daylighting throughout the campus while blocking the amount of heat that enters classrooms, helping students remain comfortable.

    Another important aspect of the campus is the community involvement. Community accessible playfields and after school educational programs keep the surrounding neighborhoods connected to the school and is a valuable resource for more than just students and teachers. Palm View Elementary School will be a source of community pride and motivate students and neighbors to reach their highest potential.

    Design: Ruhnau Clarke Architects
    Contractor: Ledesma & Meyer Construction
    Photography: RMA Photography