Santa Fe High School students and teachers are moving into the school’s new science building this month. The building features four modern, large-capacity science lab classrooms: two for chemistry, one for physics, and one for biology. The LEED-certified building incorporates some of the latest thinking in energy-efficient design.
The building provides the space and resources to meet the growing demand from students for advanced science classes that will prepare them for college-level work.
“The academic rigor of high school courses is an important factor in the college admission process,” said Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson. “Colleges want to see that students have at least three years of laboratory science classes in biology, chemistry or physics, and Earth/space science. More competitive schools expect four years of lab science courses. Santa Fe High School’s new science building provides all of the resources necessary to meet those goals.”
The four classrooms are all equipped with such key features as large work stations with access to water and natural gas, and high-end fume hoods for safety and ventilation during experiments. The rooms are also equipped with computer connectivity in hardwire jacks, wireless access points, and built-in teachers’ desks. All classrooms are designed for maximum storage with beautiful cabinetry. They also each have a PoleVault audio visual system, designed for classrooms with a ceiling mounted projector.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification means the building was designed and built using the best environmental practices in site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED elements include floor-to-ceiling windows, dome skylights, and clerestory windows that provide classrooms with natural light. Adjustable solar tube skylights light and warm storage rooms. Environmentally superior insulation provides maximum efficiency with AC and heating; high-end windows prevent energy loss.
The building’s exterior is landscaped with trees and plants to create a park-like atmosphere and the entire building is ADA accessible. The Whittier Union School District broke ground at Santa Fe High School on January 17, 2011 and it took one year to construct the entire building from the ground up, finishing on schedule.