With a focus on performing arts and innovation—kindergarten through eighth grade students at the new Double Peak School are learning more than just the basics. Here, they’re trying their hands at music, design, engineering, and coding. The San Marcos, Calif. K-8 school is the result of the district’s need to accommodate growth of both the elementary and middle school grades in San Elijo Hills and the Discovery Elementary school areas. The district challenged HMC to create a building that would not only serve this unique grade range, but also be an environment that was conducive to “learning by doing.”

Our design team created flex-labs and a “maker space,” where students can practice conceiving and constructing inventions, and an innovation lab, where they learn apps, programs and other technological tools. We opted for tables on casters so the room could be configured to accommodate a multitude of uses. The library connects to the innovation lab by a sliding glass wall that has similar versatility and has flexible furniture, technology for sharing, and storage options that accommodate a multitude of different functions. Since the school also features a comprehensive music program, we designed a multi-purpose space with the feel of a performing arts theater. An upgraded wood ceiling, acoustical panels on the walls, and a finish palette make it the perfect place for students to learn and perform like they’re in a high-end theater. With a single front door that welcomes all K-8 students, we’ve reinforced Double Peak’s “one school” philosophy. The school will eventually accommodate up to 1,200 students, and is quickly becoming a community landmark.