San Martin/Gwinn Elementary School

Morgan Hill Unified School District / San Martin, CA

  • Project: Modernization and Expansion
  • Type: K-8
  • Completion Date: August 2016
  • Green Rating: CHPS PreFAB®

Project Background

The Morgan Hill School District wanted to expand the Dual Immersion Multicultural Education (DIME) program at San Martin/Gwinn Elementary to include middle school students. Adding 7th and 8th graders to the popular K-6 program presented an immediate need for additional multifunctional classroom space that could support the DIME curriculum as well as the project-based learning requirements of the school’s Environmental Science Academy (ESA). Working closely with MHUSD, American Modular Systems (AMS) designed and built two permanent Gen7 buildings that feature six open-concept classrooms and student/staff restroom facilities. Sited behind the elementary school, the new Gen7 buildings create a mini middle school campus that complements the existing architecture but maintains its own identity, fostering a sense of pride and purpose for both DIME and ESA students.

MHUSD’s desire for sustainable, CHPS-Verified facilities made the newly-launched Gen7 CHPS PreFAB model a natural fit for San Martin/Gwinn, the first school to install the pre-Verified PreFAB classrooms.

Gen7’s DSA-approved design allowed both PreFAB buildings to be delivered on an accelerated schedule, with the flexibility to tailor each building to MHUSD’s program needs and environmental initiatives while meeting the strict specifications of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). Health, comfort and energy efficiency go hand-in-hand, with large low-E view windows providing natural light and a natural ventilation system continuously circulating fresh, filtered air to ensure superior indoor air quality and optimized climate control. Both buildings are engineered for energy savings, exceeding the California Title 24 energy code by a minimum of 40%—an instructional design element ideally suited to an environmental science curriculum that teaches students about ecology and energy conservation.