Atwater Valley Community School

Gen7 Inspires Higher Performance in Schools and Students

  • Project: The First Gen7 Campus
  • Type: High School
  • Scope: Admin offices, library, science labs, child care, restrooms and 18 classrooms
  • Design: Complete Campus
  • Completion Date: September 2011

Project Background

The new Atwater Valley School functions at a higher level and so will the students, in bright, comfortable facilities with abundant natural light and superior acoustics that can improve educational performance by as much as 20%, while significantly reducing costs and boosting energy savings up to 60%.

  • 1st Gen7 school campus
  • 60% reduction in build-time, compared to conventional construction
  • 35 dB(A) whisper-quiet learning environment (50% quieter than the average classroom)

Atwater Valley School is Merced County’s alternative education facility, serving the diverse needs of at-risk students. Gen7’s versatile design adapts readily to different uses—critical since MCOE was looking to build a turnkey sustainable campus instead of merely adding a few classrooms. The new campus includes a four-wing classroom building, administrative offices and art and science labs—each customized for the ten-acre site plan.


Years of leasing inadequate space at a nearby commerce center prompted MCOE to set an aggressive timeline, challenging designers to fulfill a multitude of needs in multi-functional quarters that would be ready for students by the start of the next school year.


Because Valley is a non-traditional school, MCOE was looking for a non-traditional solution— a modern green campus that would provide a wealth of practical options in a community setting that would appeal to secondary-age students and could be completed, cost-effectively, in less than a year.


Gen7 designed an entire campus with integrated educational and vocational facilities to fit the unique needs of 200 high school students, plus 30 sixth- through eighth-graders, housed in separate facilities. The fresh, modern design and advanced green technology allowed Atwater to offer a range of programs and resources in an inviting, energy-efficient environment conducive to learning—all in an unprecedented turnaround time of just six months.