Walter Hayes Elementary School
Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto Unified School District
New Construction/Modernization – 2000
SSA collaborated with HTI Architects on Palo Alto Unified School District’s school modernization effort. Walter Hays Elementary School underwent a selective modernization that included the reorganization of existing library space, the addition of new classrooms, reading rooms and computer centers, as well as the introduction of new sources of natural light.
SSA confronted the challenges of severe crowding and poor lighting at the existing Walter Hays Library by reorganizing underutilized spaces.
Incorporating a well-lighted courtyard and an adjacent storage room effectively solved both challenges. Along with new skylights, the courtyard provided an abundance of natural lighting and both additions provided ample space.
With input from staff, students and community, SSA installed an Audio-Visual center with computer cluster stations and a new sitting area. The new library is adjacent to surrounding classrooms so students can come directly into the library from class. This makes the new space a central feature of the campus, where a variety of activities are held. SSA added light, active and quiet rooms, and gave an entirely new focus to the building and the campus.
Architectural Design and Planning