Tumbleweed Early Childhood Education Center
Palmdale School District / Palmdale, CA
The Palmdale School District (PSD) wanted to provide a comprehensive preschool program at Tumbleweed Elementary. Working with Flewelling and Moody Architects, American Modular Systems (AMS) designed and built a state-of-the-art Head Start complex—the High Desert’s first—adding five open-concept classrooms, each with its own restroom and plumbed sink cabinet, in one Gen7 120×40 permanent modular building. To save money, AMS modified the design to combine the two restrooms per classroom required by Head Start licensing into a single pod with two water closets and two lavatory sinks separated by an age-appropriate privacy partition. Working within the DSA-PC design, AMS also added a seismic separation that divides the 120’ building length into two conjoined buildings—a solution that shortened the geological review time without impacting building functionality or aesthetics.
The High Desert’s wide temperature swings made energy-efficiency a top priority for PSD, which is committed to reducing its reliance on traditional energy sources. Gen7’s solar-ready design was a perfect fit for the District’s goals, combining high performance features with PV panels installed on the building’s front overhang. Large, low-E windows and skylights make daylighting the primary light source with smart LED lighting as a backup, when needed. High efficiency HVAC systems optimize climate control, automatically adjusting the temperature up or down while filtering pollutants to create a comfortable, clean air environment ideal for healthy learning. Airtight construction and the use of clean, environmentally responsible building materials provide safety, comfort and efficiency year-round, ensuring young children’s well-being while substantially lowering the school’s electricity costs.