Escuela Popular is a community charter school that addresses the growing need for dual-language education for immigrant families in East San Jose. After years of operating facilities on multiple campuses, Escuela partnered with American Modular Systems (AMS) to unite the school’s three separate academies on one innovative campus. Three new permanent modular buildings expand the facilities to accommodate increasing enrollment, while meeting the diverse educational, training and career prep needs of children, adolescents and adults working toward a high school diploma. Two new Gen7 Two-Story buildings are joined by a sky bridge, adding 21 PK-8 classrooms, administrative areas, restrooms, a media center and library in 24,960 SF of space. A new single-story building houses high school classes in 3,840 SF of space, including two general classrooms and two fully-equipped science labs. A central courtyard and recreational areas offer indoor-outdoor learning opportunities for all ages.
Community engagement was pivotal to the project’s success, with community leaders and local educators taking an active role from the outset. The collective vision for the new campus reflects the cultural pride of the Latino community, honoring Escuela’s heritage while providing a high-quality 21st century learning environment for the entire family. A warm, vibrant color palette and decorative tilework visually connect multi-size buildings, giving the campus a cohesive identity that blends with the community’s traditional Spanish architecture. Each building is sustainably designed, with large, open learning spaces and state-of-the-art features that make health, comfort and performance top priorities. Energy-efficient systems lower operating costs, large low-E windows and skylights fill classrooms with natural light and continuous ventilation circulates fresh, filtered air throughout the buildings, ensuring superior indoor air quality for productive learning.