Farmington High School

Albuquerque, NM

The new Farmington High provides 268,000 square feet of new educational and athletic facilities, 60,000+ square feet of renovated space, and eighteen acres of new infrastructure, parking, and landscaping. The overall design brings a modern, contemporary expression to a 60+ year old campus with an emphasis on 21st Century learning and safety. It was built in multiple phases over three years at the existing high school campus while the school remained in session.

The Vision

The design was driven by Farmington High’s philosophy of project and inquiry-based learning, a model approach of 21st Century education. The result is a progressive environment where curriculum and building design work together to create a collegiate-style environment, preparing students for higher education. A central student commons area forms the heart of the school–designed as a flexible, multi-use space that includes a cafeteria, a venue for school assemblies, and most importantly, a place for student collaboration. Two connected multi-story classroom wings feature project lab areas to further encourage group study.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles were integrated throughout to promote safety through building layout, single point of entry checkpoints and clear sight lines. The goal was to meet a high security standard while keeping an open and comfortable atmosphere. As the Farmington Daily Times reports, visitors enter an inviting space that “looks more like the headquarters of an ambitious Silicon Valley start-up than a traditional American High School.” All buildings surround a protected outdoor courtyard designed that provides natural light to learning spaces while boosting security and limiting access to the campus. Updates to the site design created accessible parking and safe access routes to school buildings and activity centers.

Site Design

On a site with over 20’ of elevation change, accessibility was paramount. The renovated site design creates much-needed accessible parking and safe access routes to multiple school buildings. The design team worked to create highly functional outdoor environments that also address drainage requirements and ADA standards. To reduce the number of crosswalks and increase pedestrian access to the school, Groundwork studio worked with the City of Farmington to assess larger circulation patterns. Groundwork Studio and FBT worked closely with the CMAR contractor to ensure that temporary parking areas and access routes are safe and accessible during construction.