Bolsa Knolls Middle School

Bolsa Knolls Gen7 Demonstrates a Cost-Effective Approach to Green

  • Project: First CHPS® Verified Modular Classrooms
  • Type: Middle School 6-8
  • Phase One Completion Date: August 2010
  • Phase Two Completion Date: January 2012
  • Expansion Completion Date: August 2017
  • Green Rating: CHPS® Verified

Project Highlights

Rising enrollment in the Santa Rita Union School District (SRUSD) created a need for a new middle school to serve 6th – 8th grade students for the 2010-2011 school year. Facing a limited budget and a tight schedule, SRUSD decided to go modular, working with American Modular Systems (AMS) to design and build the first Gen7 permanent modular classroom building on the Bolsa Knolls Middle School campus. The newly-launched Gen7 classrooms were the first prefab classrooms to be CHPS-Verified, providing a healthy, comfortable learning environment with superior indoor air quality, abundant daylighting and high-efficiency HVAC systems—all delivered at a cost 30% less than conventional construction. Custom-built and installed onsite over summer break, the six-classroom building was occupant-ready in just 70 days and provided 60% energy savings the first year. SRUSD and AMS implemented Phase 2 of the Bolsa Knolls expansion plan in 2012, installing two additional building wings with eight Gen7 classrooms and eco-friendly restroom facilities.

In 2017, SRUSD approached AMS to build a custom robotics and engineering building to house the popular inter-district science academy located on the Bolsa Knolls campus. Two 84’ x 40’ Gen7 classroom wings were sited adjoining new above-grade pools, installed to test projects for the school’s underwater robotics club. The state-of-the-art building integrates advanced technology and sustainable systems with a modern, open-concept design conducive to project-based STEM  programming. The flexible floorplan adapts to a diversity of needs, allowing classrooms to multitask as general learning space, science and robotics labs and workspace for extracurricular clubs and competition teams. Both wings are fully networked for information sharing and interactive learning via student Chromebooks. Continuous ventilation filters out contaminants and polished concrete floors are easy-to-clean—key features for a lab setting where hands-on experiments make safety a priority.