Laurel Dell Elementary School, San Rafael is a Top Real Estate Project Award winner

San Rafael City Schools officials wanted to address both growing enrollment and outdated facilities at Laurel Dell Elementary School at 225 Woodland Avenue.

With a desire for modern buildings to match its academic programming, while adhering to a tight budget of $14.7 million and working with a relatively small, sloped site, the project team of Quattrocchi Kwok Architects and Swinerton Builders delivered a mixture of new construction with modernization of some existing buildings.

Completed in January 2020, the new safe, secure and flexible layout includes an administration and multi-use building, eight new classrooms for grades 1 to 4, and a restroom and storage building.

Renovations were also made to an existing building yielding 2 new kindergarten classrooms. An an existing classroom wing was redesigned to meet 5th graders needs – while also incorporating a new, larger campus library and resource room. A new kitchen and outdoor play and learning area and garden were also constructed.

Flexibility was especially important. All learning environments support team teaching and differentiated learning. Small group rooms were incorporated for conference space, parent/teacher conferences and tutoring.

The modernization features natural lighting, efficient mechanical and electrical systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures and drought-tolerant landscaping.

The sloped site was overcome through strategic building placement and incorporated ramps and stairs into the design. Total new construction involved 14,800 square feet, with 6,200 square feet of modernization.

Sustainable features include an updated ventilation system and operable windows were designed well in advance of the pandemic but will be assets as teachers and city school officials look forward to reopening the campus in the future.

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