Summer 2007 – Volume 7 Number 2


Starts 2 Buildings

Hard hats, Caterpillar® tractors and pick-up trucks are about to return to the campus of Windward School in West Los Angeles, CA. Construction is poised to begin on a new complex which will include a 25,000 square-ft Science Math Center and a 14,000 square-ft Center for Teaching and Learning.

(Above) View of proposed Windward School Science Math Center and Center for Teaching and Learning. Design by Pica + Sullivan Architects, Ltd. Rendering by Jon Messer.

Designed by Los Angeles, CA-based Pica + Sullivan Architects, Ltd., the new state- of-the-art facilities will be located at the south campus, adjacent to the Leichtman Levine Family Foundation Bridge. Noted independent school contractor, Van Nuys, CA-based Paul W. Speer, Inc., has been selected to build the project.

When completed, the new two-story Windward Science Math Center will be the most technologically innovative facility for science education in Southern California. The building is designed around a core of four 1,200 square-ft research science labs; one each for chemistry, biology, physics and middle school science. Every lab is grouped with two classrooms, freeing the lab layout for large scale demonstrations, complex experiment set-ups and table clusters to encourage collaborative learning.

The new Science Math Center design includes study and tutoring rooms, a special projects lab and rooms designated for use by the Robotics and Lego League programs. The Performing Arts department will realize additional space in the below-grade level of the building.

New facilities will include a 1,700 square-ft dance studio, a 1,600 square-ft music rehearsal space, and music practice and instrument storage rooms.

The new Center for Teaching and Learning was conceived by the Windward administration and faculty to be a place to nourish intellectual curiosity, support independent learning and encourage cross-disciplinary thinking.

The Pica + Sullivan design accommodates these goals with a plan that incorporates flexible workspaces to encourage different learning approaches.

The new facility will house three components a Research Center, a Reading Room and a Digital Media Studio. The ground-level Research Center will incorporate state-of-the-art technology in an environment that reflects the social dimension of the learning experience. Group study areas, presentation corners with touch-screen LCD displays, teaming stations and computing clusters will allow students and teachers to explore, discuss and share ideas.

The entire second floor will be a Reading Room; a quiet, contemplative space; a refuge for reflection and inspiration. Features include small study alcoves, a central fireplace and an outdoor reading deck. The building includes one level below grade which will house the Digital Media Studio. This Studio is designed to accommodate innovation and experimentation using the latest digital tools. The Studio will house a graphic design and motion video gallery, a broadcast studio and multimedia-intensive classroom.

The two new buildings will be positioned to form a concourse from the north campus connection at the Leichtman Levine Family Foundation Bridge to the new south campus drop-off/pick-up zone. The north- east corner of the complex will sport a new outdoor dining area and exterior basketball court. Construction is slated to begin in September 2007.

Girls and Boys Town Opens Lennar Campus

(Above) Ribbon Cutting ceremony at July 15, 2007 Grand Opening. Photograph by Randall Michelson.

A mid-summer celebration marked the opening of the new Lennar Assessment and Short-term Residential Center for Girls and Boys Town of Southern California. The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by many dignitaries including Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Compton, CA mayor Eric Perrodin. Girls and Boys Town National Executive Director Father Steven Boes was the keynote speaker.

Designed by Pica + Sullivan Architects, Ltd., the new 10,000 square-ft residential, education and assessment center will provide services for severely at-risk girls. The new facility is located in East Rancho Dominguez, CA, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County adjacent to the cities of Compton, Lynwood and Paramount.

Girls and Boys Town was founded in 1917 by Father Edward Flanagan. Originally conceived as a “home for wayward boys,” the organization has grown from its Omaha, Nebraska roots to become a national leader in the treatment and care of abused, abandoned and neglected children.

The new two-story building is designed to service 16 youths at any one time. The facility includes 8 dorm-style bedrooms, a community kitchen and dining room, a classroom and offices for the staff. The Lennar Center will service at-risk girls between the ages of 10 and 17.

HomeAid America, a nonprofit corporation that creates partnerships to help people in need of shelter, selected the East Rancho Dominguez facility as one of their projects in 2005. The Greater Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter of HomeAid America recruited Lennar Homes to serve as the Builder Captain for the new facility. In addition to constructing the building, the Lennar Corporation generously contributed $1 million to the project. Other organizations that provided grants include the Ahmanson, Annenberg, Norris, Skirball, Ralph M. Parsons and Weingert Foundations.

The new center will greatly expand the Girls and Boys Town presence in Southern California. Most of the youths are referred to the organization by social service agencies and courts, with such problems as abandonment and gang involvement. “We give kids help, healing and hope,” Boes said. “That’s our vision for what we do.”

At the new facility, youths in crisis will find a family-style environment where they can learn the skills to overcome fear, control behaviors and to live and work with others in positive and productive ways. As Father Flanagan professed, “there are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.” The Lennar Center is part of the legacy of creating good environments that will have a lasting, positive impact on at-risk youths.

(Below) New Lennar Assessment and Short-term Residential Center by Pica + Sullivan Architects, Ltd. Photograph by Randall Michelson.