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Estrella Foothills Global Academy

Special magnet schools deserve buildings that reflect their focused curriculum.

Surrounded by a new residential subdivision, Estrella Foothills Global Academy is Laveen’s new K-8 school serving the fast-growing Tierra Montana neighborhood. The $17.1 million international diversity magnet curriculum school is on a 15.8-acre site and is designed for 1,155 students. Estrella Foothills Global Academy was site-adapted from a previous Laveen USD/EMC2 K-8 design, Paseo Point Elementary School. The building massing was re-oriented to suit the new site vehicular flow, fire access, school entrance, campus security, and playfield orientations. While the 2-story Classroom Building had a similar floor plan as before, the Cafeteria/Gymnasium Building was fully re-designed.

Working with the District’s team, EMC2 adjusted the classroom prototype floorplan to better support the school’s global studies program. Pre-K, Kindergarten, and grades 1-3 are located on the ground floor of the classroom building to allow for easier facility access by the younger students as well as immediate connectivity to their respective fenced playgrounds outside. The upper floor is dedicated to grades 4-8 who have direct access to the Media Center also located there. Both floors have two dedicated large lab classrooms for each, STEM and Art studies.

Illuminated 3D steel sculptural elements of a globe and the world map depicting the international nature of the curriculum adorn the exterior of the building. Large colorful painted imagery of continents enhances the global studies theme throughout the hallways of the main classroom building. Ample natural light and mountain views are provided in the open and airy Media Center.

The separate cafeteria/gymnasium building prototype redesign was adapted to the new site and masterplan. A commercial kitchen is used to prepare meals for students and staff with Scorpion Pride school spirit evident throughout the interior design. Partnering with the City of Phoenix, the project site development includes a joint-use City park, Tierra Montana Park. The benefits from this partnership to the school and community through shared amenities include restrooms, and lighted soccer and baseball/softball fields.

Professional design services included architectural, civil, landscape, structural, food service, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical design. EMC2 also provided services for predevelopment submittals, plan review and permitting through the City of Phoenix Self-Certification program, and construction administration services.

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