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  Seaview/Westshores High School Gymnasium & Classroom Building Article Pg. 28Seaview/Westshores High School Gymnasium & Classroom Building
Ralph Allen & Partners, 520 North Main Street, #200, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Salton City, California
Total Square Feet: 22,386
Construction Period: Oct 1998 to Oct 1999

Construction Team
General Contractor: Oakview Construction - 959 Calimesa Boulevard, Calimesa, CA 92320
Structural Engineer: Johnson & Nielsen Associates - 18009 Skypark Circle, #L, Irvine, CA 92614
Electrical Engineer: Larry Mullen Associates - 1200 North Jefferson, #D, Anaheim, CA 92807
Mechanical Engineer: F.T. Andrews, Inc. - 831 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92805
Landscape Architect: Ralph Allen & Partners - 520 North Main Street, #200, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Cost Estimator: Ralph Allen & Partners - 520 North Main Street, #200, Santa Ana, CA 92701

In 1998, the Coachella Valley Unified School District, located in Southern California, desperately needed new facilities to provide its students with a gymnasium, along with a laboratory and more classroom space dedicated to science. The school district was looking for a way to bring a sense of cohesiveness to the existing Salton City buildings and remain within their budget. Additionally, the school board was hoping the building would provide a focal point for the area, which serves four isolated communities near the Salton Sea.

The original campus consisted of an elementary and high school connected to each other with uncovered walkways. This collection of buildings had no sense of community, therefore the school board was asking for an innovative design, which would draw the existing buildings into a higher, esthetic standard. On a more positive note, there were no restrictions regarding space issues or structure size since the schools are situated in an isolated, desert area. The school district had plenty of land to work with.

The architectural firm of Ralph Allen and Partners solved the problem of bringing both schools into a symbiotic relationship by marrying the existing U-shaped quad with a connecting facade. The result was a 22,386-square-foot addition, which is not only functional but also stunningly unique in its design.

The 12,000-plus square foot gymnasium breaks out of the traditional body style with the addition of distinctive stacks designed to chill incoming hot air through an evaporative cooler. This air is then funneled into the gas fired DX Cooling system. Tall slender windows allow natural light to enter the gymnasium. Because they are inset, direct solar heat is minimized thus lowering air conditioning costs. Reduced operating costs were a definite advantage for this school district in an area that can see extreme fluctuations in temperature.

The science classrooms and laboratory, facing the gymnasium supplemented an additional 10,084 square feet.

The new gymnasium and classrooms are being utilized not only by the schools but by the surrounding communities as well. Because it can be seen for miles around, the building's statuesque architectural style and height insures its dominance on the landscape and now serves as a focal point for the whole area.

Exterior Walls - Plaster: La Habra Stucco; Grout: Polyblend by Custom Building Products; Aluminum Windows: Torrance; Serving Window: Nissen; Glass: PPG; Special Door: Wayne Dalton.
Roof - Standing Seam: AEP-Span.
Floors - Gymnasium: Junckers Hardwood; Carpet: Lees; VCT: Armstrong; Base: Burke; Tile: Dal-Tile, Fritztile.
Interior Walls - Metal Framing: Western Metal; Acoustical Tile: Armstrong; Acoustical Grid: USG; Wallcoverings: Koroseal Vicrtex Wallcoverings; PlasticLaminate: WilsonArt; Paint: Dunn Edwards; Toilet & Bath Partitions: Santana; Gym Seating: Hussey Seating Company; Lockers: Lyon.

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