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  Crownpoint Elementary SchoolCrownpoint Elementary School


Van H. Gilbert Architect, P.C.
2428 Baylor Drive, S.E., Albuquerque, NM 87106

General Description

Location: Crownpoint, New Mexico
Date Bid: June 2011 Construction Period: Aug 2011 to Apr 2013
Total Square Feet: 48,592 Site: 12 acres.
Number of Buildings: One. Elementary school with 18 core
classrooms, 2 special classrooms.
Building Sizes: First floor, 48,592; total 48,592 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 15’; total, 30’.
Basic Construction Type: New, Type II-B
Foundation: Pier & grade beam, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: CMU, metal panel. Roof: Metal, membrane.
Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.
Crownpoint, New Mexico is 80 miles from Gallup, New Mexico Eastern Navajo Agency, in a remote area of New Mexico

Project Team

Structural Engineer: Chavez Grieves Consulting Engineers, Inc. - 4700 Lincoln Road, #102, N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87109
General Contractor: Murphy Builders, Inc. - 808 S. Boardman Drive, Gallup, NM 87301
Mechanical Engineer & Electrical Engineer: Bridgers & Paxton Consulting Engineers, Inc. - 4600C Montgomery Boulevard, Albuquerque, NM 87109
Civil Engineer: Isaacson & Arfman PA - 128 Monroe Street, N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87108

Designed by Albuquerque-based, Van H. Gilbert Architects, the new Crownpoint Elementary School replaces a beloved but outdated school on the Eastern Navajo Agency in Crownpoint, New Mexico, with a light filled, state-of-the-art, learning environment featuring technology-rich classrooms where children can thrive. The design team collaborated closely with representatives from the community and the Gallup-McKinley County School District to create a facility that embodies Crownpoint Elementary School's Mission Statement, "Creating a foundation for lifelong learning to become successful citizens."

The pre-kindergarten through fifth grade school is designed as a series of connected pods, which foster flexibility and collaborative learning. Based on community input, the media center/library serves as the heart and welcoming hearth of the school. It also serves as the gathering point for students attending the daily language and cultural instructions in a classroom adjacent to the center. All grade levels easily access core facilities including the cafeteria, gymnasium, and media center.

The gymnasium and cafeteria, designed for day-to-day school activities and lessons, also functions as a community gathering place for meetings, performances, athletic events, and as the new home for the renowned Crownpoint Rug Auctions.

The new school was designed to meet both the evolving curriculum demands of a dynamic Pre-K-5 school and to respond to the community's request that the architecture and interiors reflect Navajo culture and traditions. The architects fused traditional forms and design motifs with the latest thinking about educational design to inform both function and aesthetics.

The Hogan-shaped entrance is decorated with the names of the four directions and the four sacred mountains and the hallways bear words like kindness and respect painted in both English and Navajo reinforcing traditional values and contemporary lessons. Tile work throughout the hallways, cafeteria and gymnasium echoes design from Navajo rugs, which speaks both to the traditional craft and to the fact the school will continue to host the renowned rug auction.

Large windows offer views to the surrounding hills and keep the classrooms day lit and bright. The well-planned rooms provide ample storage for supplies, even on shelves behind sliding chalkboards. Windowsill countertops offer additional space for student projects or additional storage.

The exterior masonry walls of the building are constructed with striations of rough split faced block and polished block reflecting the rocky cliffs that surround the community. The intricately woven standing seam metal hip roofs bring the building down to a friendly pedestrian scale.

The school is one of the first to use an energy-efficient, displacement ventilation system, which provides excellent air quality, is quiet, and reduces energy consumption. Because the air does not need to travel down from the ceiling to reach the students, less temperature change is required, saving energy. Because the air is delivered low and exhausted high, it moves germs and carbon dioxide up and away to improve air quality and student health. The mechanical system is being reviewed by the state's Public School Facilities Authority to be used as a model HVAC system in State-funded schools.

In addition to the building's ventilation system, the use of more efficient and natural lighting, and various components to cut down on water usage will result in energy savings of 30 percent and water reduction of 40 percent.

Technological features include: state-of-the-art audio-visual presentation system, computers, wireless service, and data ports. Advanced fiber optic Internet access provides critical connections to web-based educational programs and supplemental materials to support the curriculum.

Crownpoint's innovative design attracted the attention of state legislators interested in sponsoring a bill for a study that would measure and compare how students and staff are performing in their healthier environment, with improved acoustics, natural light and indoor air quality.

Product Information
Roofing: Firestone
Daylighting/Skylights: Kalwall
Flooring: Daltile, Tandus Carpet
Window, Entrances & Storefonts: Tubelite
Lighting: Cooper Lighting

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