Saburo Muraoka Elementary School pays homage to Sabura Muraoka and serves as a visual example of the community’s pride. The $35.5 million project spans 10 acres and encompasses 86,859 square feet of building space. Designed to accommodate up to 900 students, it is the District’s second two-story campus.
The design incorporates an environment where a variety of learning opportunities can occur. It features a two-story administration, classroom, library building; a multipurpose building with an auditorium, and a natural light-filled food service area. Each of the 36 classrooms were designed to be flexible spaces that can be used for more than one purpose and can accommodate future technology and teaching methods. Many of the classrooms have direct access to the outdoor teaching areas that are an extension of the classroom.
There are four breakout discovery lab rooms located throughout the classroom building for student collaboration and maker spaces. These rooms provide separate spaces from the classrooms for students and teachers to interact and collaborate. Discovery labs rooms feature polished concrete to withstand hands on experiments, sliding glass doors and markerboard desks. All the teaching spaces on the campus have abundant natural light due to the large storefront windows on the exterior and windows that face the interior corridors.
The library/media center, renamed as the school’s “Innovation Center,” is not a traditional library. The center was designed to inspire student’s creativity and confidence, featuring 24-foot tall ceilings, a bridge that spans between the east and west wings of the second level, curtain wall glazing, bleacher seating areas and sliding glass doors that open to the outside. The Innovation Center is the central gathering location for the campus to promote staff, student and social interactions.
The school site features lunch and shade structures, play areas with both hard courts and grass fields, CIP concrete wall balls, CIP radius concrete benches, a bus drop-off area and staff and visitor parking.
To commemorate Saburo Muraoka, one of the focal areas of the campus was adapted into a friendship garden. With input from landscape designers traditionally trained in Japan, elements such as a stone lantern, cherry blossom trees and Mondo grass were incorporated into the garden.