We are passionate about designing educational campuses and other facilities with two decades of award-winning projects. Architects, over 100 school districts and the Division of State Architect rely on KNA—we do our homework each and every day.
Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.
– Albert Einstein
HIGHER ED: Mesa College Continuing Education Building
Collaborating with SGPA Architects, this 38,000 sq. ft., two-story facility won the Best Project for Higher Education in the Research category by Engineering News-Record. The project incorporates passive cooling and natural lighting that reduces the total building energy use by 43%, which is beyond state requirements. The building achieved LEED Silver certification.
Principal and Project Manager Ben Pitts commented: “This challenging structure utilizes a passive ventilation system via a wind scoop to force air throughout the building. The construction of this feature met the architectural requirements and made this project challenging and rewarding for both us and the SGPA.”
HIGH SCHOOL: Indio High School
This entire campus project was designed for 2,000+ students and is encompasses 324,000 sq. ft. Designed by architects Ruhnau Clarke Architects, the school’s design reflects the culture and rich tradition of the Indio community. Originally constructed in 1958, teachers were using “swamp coolers” to ease the triple-digit temperatures—not very conducive to teaching and learning. Later, students were housed for years in portable buildings as attendance grew. What’s truly impressive is that since the new campus came on-line, the graduation rate went from 70% to 98% and is ranked in the top 8% by U.S. News and World Report.
“This project consisted of 17 new buildings of various shapes and sizes to completely replace an aging campus. The 8 major new buildings were projects in themselves, with each having its own structural challenges, such as the catwalks in the theater, to the long-span trusses in the gymnasium.”
Larry Kaprielian, Principal-in-Charge of Indio High School Replacement
K-8: Design39 Campus
This award-winning project, designed by BakerNowicki Design Studio for Poway Unified School District encompasses 156,000 sq. ft. designed as learning villages. The campus utilizes collaborative teaching spaces connected with outdoor learning labs, creating a truly state-of-the-art educational environment.
“This project is one of my favorites! Multi-story buildings directly adjacent to each other and connected by bridges, created some engineering challenges. The result became a true benchmark in school construction for the San Diego area, and draws visitors from across Southern California.” Ben Pitts, Principal, Project Manager
Elementary School: Saburo Muroaka Elementary School
Beautifully designed by Ruhnau Clarke Architects, this school’s namesake, Saburo Muroaka, who emigrated to the U.S. from Yokohama, Japan in 1915 and built a thriving agriculture business for three decades in Chula Vista. An Innovation Center is situated in the heart of the campus which serves around 800 students, kindergarten through sixth grade.
“The U-shaped, two-story building with its central Innovation Center provided some significant challenges in developing a system to resist seismic loads. As structural engineers we rarely get to see our work exposed, so we were excited to see the exposed braced frames. Other challenging structural features included long cantilever roofs, supports for the tall glass curtain wall system and interior bridge in the two-story Innovation Center.”
Larry Kaprielian, Principal-in-Charge of Saburo Muroaka ES