Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School

St. Helena Unified School District / St. Helena, CA

Gen7 Blends Learning Space and Green Space in Napa

  • Project: School Modernization and Expansion
  • Type: Middle School
  • Scope: 3 Classroom Buildings Including Art, Science and Technology
  • Completion Date: August 2012
  • Project Background

    The Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School enjoys a picturesque setting in California’s Northern Napa Valley.  To showcase the site’s natural beauty while meeting the school’s modernization needs, six outdated portable classrooms were removed and replaced with seven custom-designed, permanent Gen7 classrooms clustered against a backdrop of 80’ redwoods.  Installed in just 60 days, the buildings include a four-classroom science/technology wing, a two-classroom English/science wing, a large art room and environmentally-friendly restroom facilities.  Constructed of recycled materials, the RLS Gen7s are extensively daylit, with whisper-quiet acoustics and a dedicated outdoor ventilation system that circulates 100% fresh, filtered air throughout the classroom.

  • Challenges

    The school district and the community agreed that the top priority was to replace the six portables in the sixth-grade pod; the question was whether to replace them with custom stick-built classrooms or high-quality modulars that cost far less.  Preserving the natural beauty of the school’s tranquil woodsy setting was paramount, as was being a “good neighbor” to residences in close proximity.

  • Goal

    To custom-design a permanent modular classroom structure that optimizes the existing footprint, delivers high quality sustainable features and strengthens the school’s connectivity with the community and the environment.