Tour- Anaheim Story- TOUR IS FULL


Grand Patio

  • AIA CEU: 2.5 LU


In 1998, the Anaheim City Schools (K-6) had grown from 7,000 students to 21,000 and hadn’t built any new schools. The crisis was unprecedented, even for California where rampant growth has challenged many districts at various times. The crisis meant that they had added portable classrooms until they had no more space, then went to Multi-Track Year Round Schedules, and then had moved to double session MTYE for K-3rd grade, with more grade levels to come.

The solution required several changes to legislation at the state level (as this district for decades had not qualified), working with Disney to not oppose a bond, and working with our own community, including our own board members, to vote yes on funding. Once funded, we had to move quickly and innovatively in an urban area where no land was available. It resulted in some very unusual projects.

Now, 20 years later, we know what worked and what hasn’t. The district now named Anaheim Elementary School District will supply feedback on how the innovative schools are doing, what had to be changed, and what the future holds. This workshop will include a brief of the crisis and solutions, then will mainly focus on four of the innovative projects that became part of the answer.

1) Ponderosa Elementary

A joint use project with the City Parks, City Library, and Redevelopment Department. This project included acquisition of 19 apartment buildings adjacent to a park, a land swap with the park, a street closure with recommendation from the police department, and a library that is jointly City/School to serve a very challenging area with over 2200 K-6 students within walking distance, all were being bused elsewhere. The playgrounds are jointly used with the park. This school accommodates 1168 on MTRYE or 875 regular enrollment.

2) Westmont and Clara Barton Elementary Schools

Behind the existing Clara Barton School field was an unused 4 acre parking lot. By acquiring this lot and building a two story school, the district was able to accommodate an additional 1087 students who all lived in the immediate area but were being bused away. The fields between the two schools are joint use scheduled. This school accommodates 1087 on MTRYE or 815 regular enrollment.

3) Mann Elementary

This was a large parcel with a small school that fronted on an alley, using an adjacent church parking lot for pickup/dropoff. The church was purchased, then the new school was built on the fields, the old school was then demolished. The project includes a medically fragile/orthopedic special education facility and a PreK/K facility. The very unusual site shape resulted in allowing three separate drop off areas for this large population school. This project required legislation to facilitate inclusion in the state program. The new school accommodates 1275 on MTYRE or 950 regular enrollment.

4) Harbor Campus (now Orange Grove Elementary)

In order to facilitate expansions and modernizations the district constructed two all-relocatable campuses on this 10 acre campus for interim use. In the shadow of Disneyland, this campus needed to provide appropriate “resort area zoning” streetscape and not affect the flood control issues of one of the busiest intersections in the state, this was accomplished through resort area criteria frontage and on-site retention of storm water runoff. It has subsequently been used to house various schools thus speeding up their modernization timelines and optimizing safety during construction. This school accommodated two schools on a Harbor Campus North/Harbor Campus South arrangement with shared fields. It now functions as a regular school with its own identity.