New Bay Area K-12 Redefines Relationship Between a School and its Community

This summer, a new school will begin rising in the Bay Area city of Emeryville that redefines the relationship between a K-12 school and its surrounding community.

"In the 10,000-person Bay Area city of Emeryville, California, architecture and design firm MKThink is teaming up with Concordia and DSK to create what the developers call 'a full service community, where the school district and city work cooperatively to improve access to learning and opportunities to all members of the community through a highly coordinated City/School partnership,'" writes Ariel Schwartz. "In short: a community center that doubles as a secondary school."

"The Emeryville Center of Community Life, a 150,000 square foot, $80 million project that breaks ground this summer, will be a K-12 school harboring facilities that are designed to be used constantly, and not just by students."

"The local community contributed heavily to the school design," adds Schwartz.

"I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and there’s never been a project that I’m aware of that has required and gone through such an open and transparent communication process with the community," says Steve Kelley, the cofounder of MKThink. "Usually when a school does a project, they hire an architect to design buildings that satisfy the school district, and they’re not obligated to share it with the community. This was set up to be as much about the process as the product."

Full Story: This Is What It Looks Like When A School Becomes A Community Hub

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