Public Assembly

Arecibo Public School


As part of the School Modernization Program for the 21st Century, the new school for Arecibo consists of two buildings, one for each school level. Even though they are physically one building, the school program is divided in two, the west side containing the elementary level and the east side containing the middle school level with a total of 77,885 sq ft. Both, the pedestrian and vehicular access, are located next to the secondary street including a drop-off area and a security guard house. There are 31 parking spaces including three carpool spaces, two for alternative transportation, and two for handicapped. The building’s morphology is composed of a quad containing an interior patio for the elementary level (6,532 sq ft), an interior patio for the middle school level (6,532 sq ft), and a Community Pavilion located in the center which is shared between the two school levels. In the elementary patio there is a playground area, a gazebo, and an existing tree to be preserved. In the middle school patio there is a gazebo and a BBQ with sitting areas. The main design criteria used for creating a quad surrounding these patios was mainly for safety and security reasons since the quad layout allows for exterior spaces but still enclosed by the same building. As part of the design scope, the classrooms are designed with a dynamic arrangement in order to function individually or they could be connected by sliding doors. With the purpose of creating a communication between the exterior and interior and providing cross ventilation, there were social/collaboration areas designed throughout the building creating significant openings and providing views of its environment without sacrificing school security. In addition, there is a green roof proposed for the Community Pavilion which can be accessed through the third floor. This project was designed with a goal of pursuing a Silver LEED Certification which included the use of recycled materials, the use of natural resources, solar collectors, energy conservation, air quality management, natural illumination and ventilation, among many other qualifying aspects.


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