McBride High a Model 21st Century School
McBride High School in Long Beach opened its doors to students for the first time this month. The newest school in the district is the first of several small high schools to be funded by Measure K.
As a school of the 21st Century, McBride High has the latest technology, including campus-wide Wi-Fi and building features that make the school a model for sustainability. McBride meets the environmental standards set by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, the nation’s first green building rating program designed for K-12 schools.
“In every step of the planning, design and construction process, we considered how we could be more efficient and how we could conserve resources, such as electricity and water,” said Vince Marchetti, coordinator of district construction. “The amazing thing is, despite the energy and water savings, the school is well-lit, comfortable and provides a high-quality learning environment.”
The campus is built to accommodate three thematic learning communities, which are tied to high-demand jobs and professions. Students choose from engineering, health/medical, and public service/law enforcement career paths when they are admitted. Throughout their four years, students’ coursework in college-prep subjects is integrated with their chosen career fields.
Each learning community has specially designed classrooms, such as a fully-equipped forensic lab for law enforcement students. The classroom, gymnasium, administration building and lunch area surround a “main street” in the center of campus. This design maximizes pedestrian flow and safety.
Among the school’s special features are student work vestibules similar to small student unions on college campuses. The 350-seat lecture hall is also modeled after those in higher education.
The covered outdoor lunch area provides ample seating for the entire student capacity of about 1,000. The first year, only 210 ninth graders will be on campus, and each subsequent year, an additional group of ninth graders will be added until the school has its full complement of students in grades 9-12.
Among the "green" features at McBride are:
- Recycling of 85% of construction debris
- Automatically dimming light sensors
- Solar photovoltaic panels that will produce nearly 60% of the electricity needed
- Use of reclaimed water for grounds irrigation
- Diversion of storm water runoff for irrigation
- Storefront windows and skylights to maximize natural light
“These features will not only save resources for years to come, but also contribute to a positive learning environment for students,” said Marchetti.
View slideshow of Ernest S. McBride, Sr. High School.
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