New design for Solana Beach middle school wows board

After 60 years, Earl Warren Middle School will be getting a fresh new look, one that befits a school that is blocks from the beach.

Just as the Earl Warren staff was excited about the design scheme for the $41 million new school, San Dieguito Union School District board was similarly impressed at the Dec. 11 meeting with the beachy yet modern take on a school campus.

“I love this design. Wow. It’s just so different than your typical middle school,” said trustee Joyce Dalessandro. “Earl Warren, of all the middle schools, could really use a design like this.”

At the meeting, the board took the opportunity to touch and feel the ocean blue and golden sand-hued samples of tiles, carpets and paints that will be used in the new campus.

According to Eric Dill, associate superintendent of business services, the design for the new Earl Warren is at the Division of State Architects. The district expects to have approvals by the first quarter of 2015, with the goal to be under construction by fall 2015. Construction is expected to be complete in fall 2017.

Meanwhile, the district has created an interim campus on the south side of the school with classrooms, administration, multi-use room, food service and locker area. They are working on erecting a shade structure over the lunch area.

Steven Kendrick, a principal at the Lionakis architecture firm, said they took inspiration for the school’s design in the look of beach homes overlooking the surf below. For the two-level campus, they will create a “beach” level and a “bluff” level.

The upper level will feature the bulk of the classrooms, staggered to look like cottages, each with flat, simple shed roofs and wood siding. The buildings will also have a lot of glass on the north-facing walls to allow lots of natural daylight in the classrooms, Kendrick said.

On the “beach” level, curved roofs will emulate the shape of waves and yellow surfboard shapes will line a promenade to the multi-use room. The “surfboards” will be made of a perforated metal panel that is slightly transparent — Kendrick said they plan to put the school logo on each panel.

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