New Carmel Valley Middle School media center aims to create collaborative spaces

Carmel Valley Middle School staff members held their first meeting in the school’s new media center on Aug. 21. Photo by Karen Billing

By Karen Billing

Over the summer, the San Dieguito Union High School District completed one of its Prop AA projects at Carmel Valley Middle School, giving the campus a new media center.

“Before, it was a traditional library, and there wasn’t a lot of space for children to work and collaborate … they were sitting between the stacks,” said Eric Dill, district associate superintendent of business services.

As they thinned out the book stacks and moved the circulation desk back, there was much more room to work with. The new furniture includes circular couches, tables and ottomans on wheels that can be configured in many different ways.

“The main idea is to build flexible and adaptable spaces,” said Carmel Valley Middle School Principal Cara Dolnik. “We’re really excited about it.”

One corner includes a bar that runs along the wall to serve as workstations, with high bar stools for students to perch on.

Two computer lounges remain in the center and there are two new projectors. Students can check out books and e-books at the new circulation desk.

The $457,932 upgrade was made possible by the November 2012 passage of Prop AA, the district’s $449 million bond.