Tour- Santa Ana School District - TOUR IS FULL


Grand Patio

  • AIA CEU: 3.0 LU



1) Samueli Academy School for Foster Youth School

OBJ #1  Describe the design of the various learning spaces included in the OC School of the Arts project, including classrooms, science labs, culinary arts commercial teaching kitchen and performance facilities.
OBJ #2  Discuss how the program spaces at OC School of the arts have supported the curriculum to make the school one of the premier arts schools in the nations.
OBJ #3  Identify the sustainable design features of the Sameueli Academy project.
OBJ #4  Illustrate the ways in which the design team created a “live and learn” urban village within the Academy campus.

2) Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) School

Originally, this arts program began in 1983 as Los Al Players, a summer musical theatre camp for ages 4 – 16 founded by Terry Bigelow, Jean Parks, and Ralph Opacic in Los Alamitos, CA. Los Al Players grew into the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) in 1987 and reorganized as a public charter school on April 20, 2000. During that time the school was relocated from its primary facility at Los Alamitos High School to the Santa Ana Unified School District. In the summer of 2012, the name of the school was changed from OCHSA (Orange County High School of the Arts) to OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). OCSA is a tuition-free, donation-dependent public charter school governed by a board of trustees representing parents, the community, educators and the Santa Ana Unified School District.

OCSA’s campus consists of a seven-story office tower, which was formerly a bank and four surrounding buildings, the Annex, the Tech Building, Symphony Hall, the Visual Arts Center, The Margaret A. Webb Theater, and the new Dance Music Science center. The main tower’s bank vault is still in use as a teacher work area and occasionally as an octagonal theater.
OCSA has two on-campus venues. Symphony Hall is a theater, which holds most of the school’s medium to larger performances and was originally a historic Church of Christian Science, (built in 1922) before being converted to a theater. The hall contains a theater, a side rehearsal room, separate practice rooms for instrumental musicians, a basement and library for the creative writers, a front of house audio booth with a Behringer X32 digital sound console, and a balcony overlooking the auditorium for the Production and Design students. This balcony houses an ETC lighting booth using the ION console and 2 Source Four follow spots. Communication throughout the theatre is done with a Clear-Com system. The former on-campus venue, the Black Box Theatre, was painted and floored entirely white, serving as a dance room until fall 2015, where the black box theatre returned to OCSA and has been renamed the Studio Theatre. It also is used as a classroom for Production & Design students to learn lighting. The lighting is controlled by an ETC Element console.

OBJ #1  Explore the various learning spaces of an arts academy set within a tight urban area dedicated to serving all students with a passion for working within the arts. Spaces included: culinary, science labs, working broadcast and film studios, various performance theater, commercial teaching kitchens, and business labs.
OBJ #2  Understand and learn the various elements and actions taken to repurposing a dated urban commercial facility to a working learning in place arts academy.
OBJ #3  Explore and seek for understanding the MOU between a public-school district and a dependent charter school.
OBJ #4  Discuss how the program spaces at OCSA have supported the curriculum to make the school one of the premiere arts schools in the nation.

3) Santa Ana High School Edwards James Olmos School of Film and Cinematic Arts School

Santa Ana High School opened in 1889 as the first high school in Orange County. After 128 years, Santa Ana High School developed many pathways for educational success for the students who attend this flagship school. Several years ago, the campus began working with the Latino Film Institute and Mr. Olmos’ Youth Cinema Project that fosters students dreams for big screen careers by bringing industry professionals to the school to work with the students studying Screen writing, Editing, Broadcasting, Special Effects and more.

In 2017, the District decided the success of the program warranted an investment to improve the facilities and create even greater opportunities for students to participate in the largest industry in Southern California. The Film and Cinematic Arts Pathway really begins at the adjacent Heninger K-8 School where students are using their voices and their stories to write, direct and produce films in the 4-7th grades. When in 8th grade, they walk across to the adjacent campus and work directly with the 9-12th grade students in Digital Media Arts class at the Santa Ana High School.
The Digital Media Arts class and other rooms associated with the SanArts program were spread across the campus. This project relocated the programs into one building by providing a film studio on the 2nd floor of this 3-story building. The existing Library, once 14,000SF of underutilized space. The entire floor was redesigned into a 5,400SF Library with the Film Studio components making up the remainder – including a large Studio outfitted for filming and instruction, two editing rooms, a Digital Broadcast suite with Control Room and Studio, a Digital Media Lab and a Flex Lab. The program at Santa Ana high school is flourishing and a desire to create a specific identity for the program culminated in the naming of the program as the Edward James Olmos School for Film and Cinematic Arts.

OBJ #1  Community Environment -The design of the modernized studio space within the 130-year-old high school in Orange County is no small feat. The design honors the history and ancestry of the facilities while pushing possibilities forward. The space will allow for students from all disciplines to use the facility.

OBJ #2  Planning Process – The planning involved Students, Citizens of Santa Ana, Latino Film Institute, Youth Cinema Project, Local Industry Professionals, Campus VAPA Students and Programs and the design team.

OBJ #3  Physical Environment – The existing building is a large three-story structure in the middle of a predominantly single and two-story campus. The imposing structure divides outdoor student spaces and is very non-descript with no windows or exterior articulation of any kind. The exterior modifications included adding windows to the Library and Lab spaces and the creation of a new entry circulation tower that also brands the new School and celebrates the new educational opportunities provided.

OBJ #4  Learning Environment – The intent of SanArts is to be an arts, media and entertainment school within a school. The school is designed to be a College Preparatory Academy with an early college model that allows students to work in practicum, internships, apprenticeships, and field work through masters classes and dual enrollment in a conservatory model. The school is on track to become an arts-accredited school through Arts Schools Network. SanArts is a capstone and specialty school of choice for students who are industry bound arts and creative-industry professionals.

From SanArts staff:
“Just the look of the facilities and level thereof allow students to see themselves in these real work spaces where they getvery comfortable and are able to easily transition into industry. Students’ self-confidence will grow and they will be able to see many things happening simultaneously and connect to other students. Collaboration sparks more creativity and inspires innovation and brings about newer, fresher, even better ideas than individuals working in isolation. The students will create new things not yet imagined, perpetuating the cycle of innovation and creativity that will inspire and motivate students to do even more”.