Monterey High School

The 1955, 17 acre campus was demolished while the student body was relocated within the community until a new modern campus was completed in 2016. The 133,000 gsf campus accommodates grades 7-12, is designed for an initial enrollment of 600 capable of expanding to its core capacity of 800 enrollment. The new school provides a comprehensive, modern day curriculum in state-of-the-art educational spaces and a full complement of recreational and athletic amenities.

The design embraces clarity in response to complex demands. This project illustrates the essence of pre-design, understanding site characteristics, available resources, educational equity, esprit de corps among policy-makers, funding bodies and community. Committed to comprehensive curriculum despite a very small enrollment in a “no-growth” area; the community wished to rebuild on its historic, yet “too-small” site. The site had topographic, geologic, ground water, flooding and wetland issues. Physical factors, achieving the program and “Spartan” budget, presented challenges. Current athletic fields became “fixed” by budget. Wetlands required protecting. Expansion into the adjoining park was denied. The program was “frozen” to protect curriculum. Parking was to be accommodated on campus. Designers accepted the need to go vertical and that a major grade transition was necessary.

The project was anchored by utilizing “big box” spaces as a retaining element, making usable cost-effective space from the design’s superstructure and providing a dramatic arrival to the gymnasium and football games from the top of the bleachers. Support space located on the axis between indoor/ outdoor activities efficiently serve the stadium, gymnasium and auditorium.