Ventana Ranch Elementary School was built for the rapidly expanding Ventana Ranch community of northwest Albuquerque. The school’s 71,000 sf encircles a playground area with a separate kindergarten wing separating the upper grades for safety and security. To facilitate opening this school quickly for the growing area, a portable campus was initially built that included drop off and bus lanes and parking areas to support both temporary and permanent facilities. The remaining, permanent building was then constructed in two phases.
Classroom wings are connected through key intersections—administration, media center and cafeteria—that function as community spaces for hosting school band concerts, teacher conferences, and student art exhibits. Various facades of the building are set off with primary-colored masonry towers along with geometric fenestration to relate to the children and serve as a school wayfinding tool.
With a commitment of teachers, staff and parents sharing the responsibility for the child’s total development, it was important to involve the local community and key stakeholders of Albuquerque Public Schools into the project. FBT collaborated with the community on design ideas and how to integrate them into the established vernacular of the Ventana Ranch neighborhood.