El Capitan High School Project
Merced,  California,  United States

BCA Architects
The new 2,000-student school focuses on a 21st century learning environment and safety. El Capitan High School was designed primarily as a two-story campus with interconnected buildings that wrap around a large central landscaped quadrangle and provide exceptional visual supervision. The sweeping curve of the main educational building is reflective of Fehrens Creek that runs directly behind the new high school. The project has been designed as a Collaborative for High Performance Schools facility and is being built with durable products and materials such as masonry, steel, and energy efficient mechanical equipment. The end design always kept the community’s goals in mind: Student Achievement, Safety, Family and Community Partnerships. It also just reached the 50% complete milestone and is on track to open for classes in fall 2013. According to Bunton, the design of the new high school, from start to finish, responded to the Board of Trustees objectives of “providing students with a quality learning environment the students will respond to with pride, commitment, and respect.” “It is an incredible environment that will both motivate and challenge the students that enter it to excel in life. The desire to convey an attitude of Student Achievement in a high quality, safe, educational environment was paramount.” Said Bunton. During the course of the design, the Merced Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team reviewed BCA’s design and offered valuable information that would help the Police Department evaluate “lock down” procedures and intruder scenarios at the school. These collaborative efforts even inspired a change in the design from interior corridors to exterior corridors so school administrators would be able to aid the Merced SWAT team should an unfortunate Columbine-type of event occur in Merced. The campus was designed for extensive flexibility throughout the years and will be capable of growing to a 2,600-student capacity through the use of portable classrooms to accommodate the growing community until the next new high school is designed and constructed. Fifty-percent of the funds to construct the new high schools are mandated to stay in Merced County to help stimulate the local economy.
Sustainability Features:

As a Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) facility, this school will be built with sustainable products and materials such as masonry, steel and energy-efficient equipment. ...
BCA Architects
BCA Architects partners with clients in a mission to achieve excellence in design. Since 1989, BCA strives to strengthen communities through projects built whether it’s to design, to help define partnerships, to locate financing, to save energy or to present alternate delivery methods. BCA goes above and beyond the task at hand to ensure their clients succeed. For more information, visit:

BCA has received numerous design awards and among them are:

2011 ABC San Diego : Award of Excellence: Chula Vista High School

2011 Green Project of the Year: BCA Headquarters

2011 CASH / AIACC : Award of Excellence : Christopher High School

2010 CCFC : Award of Excellence : Southwestern College

2009 Architect of the Year Award : Paul Bunton, AIA

2008 : American School and UniversityDesign Excellence :
Aptos High School

2007 : Learning by Design
Architectural Recognition : Christopher High School

2006 : American School and University Outstanding Interior
Country: United States
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