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NMCUSD’s Implementation planning is rooted in the value of making low-cost high -impact improvements first before jumping to larger, capital-intensive projects. Campus-level Concepts are also rooted in this ethos and intentionally lay out a series of high-impact outdoor projects that will advance the district goals in the near term before it moves to support longer-term construction projects. Compared to building new facilities, outdoor learning environments are the least costly investment the district can make to deliver similar educational and social-emotional wellness outcomes to new classroom construction.  

Campus-level plans were developed using the spatial prototypes developed in the Educational Specifications.

Castroville Elementary School 

In order to better align the campus to focus on the core and improve access issues, the outdoor concept plan proposed the follow moves:

  • Relocate pedestrian entrance on Pajaro Street to alleviate traffic on Union & Merritt Street and re-purpose the existing play area for natural play/learning to create a safe and inviting entrance for students

  • Add new front play structure and improved play area with interactive elements and nature play and accessibility upgrades

  • Install new early learning classroom building with a new accessible age appropriate play structure relocate entrance to accommodate ADA access & improved security

  • Set up garden & outdoor science lab

  • Undertake central campus play area improvements to incorporate nature play and updated play courts

  • Create an eating space/extension of cafeteria

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Echo Valley Elementary School
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To strengthen safe, engaging pedestrian connections between “terraces” and to make the experience of navigating through campus a fun learning opportunity, the outdoor concept plan proposed the follow moves:

  • Add a new garden & outdoor science lab with outdoor garden with raised bed planting small greenhouse

  • Create new outdoor science labs/classrooms across the campus

  • Revise play area incorporating accessible play elements across campus 

  • Create Steam outdoor classroom and gathering area

  • Add additional staff parking area near Echo valley road to alleviate traffic from main campus

  • Install a new early learning classroom building with a new accessible age appropriate play structure and relocated entrance to accommodate ADA access & improved security

Elkhorn Elementary School
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To strengthen the main entry with art displays, murals and activate grassy knoll with visual and functional connections to key learning spaces, including interior classrooms and hillside the outdoor concept plan proposed the follow moves:

  • Create outdoor learning spaces near campus entry that incorporates natural environment to learning space

  • Add multilevel amphitheater to hillside and incorporate natural drainage swale to design

  • Resurface path/fire lane to upper level and add planting and natural design features

Prunedale Elementary School

To enhance the entry experience and create a “there there” on campus while connecting key indoor and outdoor spaces with intentional nodes and pathways,the outdoor concept plan proposed the follow moves:

  • Create a new central entrance plaza and campus gathering space outdoor  with classroom extensions and new playgrounds

  • Add an additional entrance plaza/drop-off to alleviate parking lot traffic

  • Develop an outdoor discovery trail connecting outdoor garden and science labs traditional and nature play areas  

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Middle School (Gambetta Site)

In order to cohere campus entries, flow and activate outdoor spaces with programs/ art the outdoor concept plan proposed the following  moves:

  • Provide much needed additional parking for staff

  • Relocate Headstart and expand District Early Learning Classrooms

  • Create a community plaza with parking and drop-off improvements

  • Modernize the gym and create a outdoor gathering/community space

  • Create a multi use area - eating, gathering and outdoor learning withing the central campus core

  • Create an outdoor science lab and garden

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Central Bay High School

Central Bay High School currently hosts two programs. To create a central quad for community building activities between the programs and a series of intentional outdoor learning spaces, the outdoor concept plan proposed the follow moves:

  • Add potential additional ADA Parking for Independent Study

  • Create new outdoor Classroom/Learning Space at upper campus

  • Build a new plaza with Tiered Seating – Independent Study or Central Bay High

  • Create an amphitheater/Outdoor Gathering Area

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High School

In order to organize the campus into program identified zones with STEAM as the heart and connect programs with intentional streets, intersections and plazas, the following moves were proposed:

  • Create a large amphitheaters for performance arts and extra curricular/co curricular activities

  • Build a new educational fitness center with outdoor fitness and multi-use playcourts

  • Add new fitness courts at gym exteriors expanding gym area

  • Set up a tree orchard for educational purposes

  • Expand use of outdoor areas for career technical education

  • Undertake stadium entrance improvements with ticket booths, community gathering space 

  • Promote campus pride by incorporating branding elements across the campus and a new, defined main entrance

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