After being completely demolished and rebuilt over the past year, the new San Marcos Elementary School designed by HMC Architects held its official dedication ceremony this week. It was the first ever demolition and replacement of an existing school for the San Marcos Unified School District.

More than 200 community members attended the dedication, including representatives from the City of San Marcos, the school board, former school principals, parents, students, and teachers. Representatives from Lusardi Construction, who was responsible for its construction, were also in attendance.

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The newly constructed San Marcos Elementary School accommodates 850 students in two buildings totaling 73,000 square feet. At one time known as the oldest school in the district—it was originally built in 1948—the design strives to improve student performance and inspire a commitment to education within the community.

“The collaborative design process led by HMC Architects with Lusardi Construction Company and the District was the best design process that I have had the opportunity to participate in for designing a school,” said Katherine Tanner, Executive Director Facilities Planning and Development at San Marcos USD. “The outcome of this past-paced design process produced a school that fits the educational program and the community needs—with nothing left out of the facility.”

The new school incorporates the reading recovery program, which engages students in daily reading sessions each morning and afternoon. Circulation between classrooms allows for quick set up in the reading groups and facilitates team teaching and flexibility for classroom reconfigurations. Acoustical control was also a critical element for the classrooms, as well as common spaces.

“San Marcos Elementary School is a great example of a community coming together to accomplish multiple goals, while preserving the school’s history,” stated Steve Prince, managing principal of HMC Architects’ San Diego studio.

The original wrought iron gate topped with “SME” was preserved and incorporated into the new school, and a wall documenting the history of the school is planned for the campus.

Previously, HMC Architects was hired by the San Marcos Unified School District to design the San Elijo Middle School, San Elijo Elementary School, and Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary Schools.