CLIENT: Sequoia Union High School District
    LOCATION: East Palo Alto, California
    SIZE: 26,000 Square Feet
    COST: $7,000,000


    The Sequoia Union High School District approached CAW Architects with an urgent need to build a new 400-student high school quickly to serve their growing population. The district bought several parcels of land in East Palo Alto, and combined them to create a site for the campus. East Palo Alto had not had a public high school within it's community borders for over thirty years since the Ravenswood High School was closed in 1976. Students from this underserved community are bused to other high schools in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City.

    Using a hybrid, modular, building design, CAW was able to achieve design, permitting and construction within an astonishing eighteen-month window. A central courtyard with built-in amphitheater serves as the heart of the campus allowing the entire school to gather in a central spot. Permeable paving surfaces, exterior circulation, sunscreens and ample day lighting help create an efficient environment where sustainability is featured as an educational tool rather than just a metric of building performance.


    • The architects began with a feasibility analysis to see how the site could best accommodate the new use most efficiently.
    • The design used prefabricated building components to speed the construction process and meet the Districts timely construction goals.
    • Buildings were designed around a central courtyard with built-in amphitheater creating a gathering space for students in the heart of the campus. The Social Hall and Library were designed with separate entrances to allow the facility to be used in the evenings as a community resource.
    • The two-story design maximizes building and site efficiency. Exterior circulation on the second floor and sunscreens protect interior spaces from the direct sun and minimize the need for mechanical cooling and heating.


    STRUCTURAL: Hohbach Lewin Structural Engineers, www.hohbach-lewin.com
    LANDSCAPE: Kimberly Moses Design, www.mo-po.com
    MEP: Ackerman-Practicon, www.apcts.com
    CONTRACTOR: Blach Construction, www.blach.com