ENR California has awarded the Orchard School Library an “Award of Merit” in its Best Projects competition, which recognizes the region’s best achievements in construction and design. This project is a success because of the rigorous planning and collaboration from key members of the school community with oversight from the strong design and construction team of HMC Architects and Blach Construction. The district challenged the project team to create a facility that embodies academic excellence, promotes technology literacy, and builds community and to do so with environmental sensitivity.

“We had a clear vision of building a library that was communal, modern, and inspiring for 21st century learning, while ensuring it operated efficiently and affordably,” said Jackie Felbinger, former Director of Educational Services for the Orchard School District who oversaw the design and construction of the new library. “We are pleased to offer students a facility with environmentally friendly design elements that support the healthy learning environment our students deserve.”

The project team kept the district informed of the latest innovations in green design while assisting them in making decisions that were prudent and appropriate. They listened to the school’s needs, incorporated its input, and kept to the project on schedule and on track for its LEED Gold standing.

When the library opened, the District received praise for a facility that is stunning in design while remaining warm and inviting for the school children. Orchard School is proud of its library and feels that it reflects the values of a 21st century school that cultivates leadership, scholarship, and equity. It has quickly become the most sought out facility on campus.

The project will be featured in ENR California’s December 3, 2012 issue and honored at the annual Best Projects breakfast, scheduled for Dec. 6, 2012, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel.