FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2021
Contact: Julie Sen
Albany Unified School District Opens New $39.5M Ocean View Elementary School with 24 Modern Classrooms
and Two Playgrounds
ALBANY, California – The Albany Unified School District (AUSD) will join with the community on Saturday, August 14, to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Ocean View Elementary School. This new 60,000 square foot facility, located at 1000 Jackson Street, is the largest of four major school expansion/modernization projects funded by School Bond Measures B and E. The new facility will dramatically enhance the campus experience for nearly 500 incoming students this fall, and replaces an outdated and seismically deficient facility that was originally built as Albany’s middle school.
The new Ocean View Elementary School is part of the latest generation of AUSD school buildings, designed to provide high-quality learning environments adapted for 21st-century educational standards, built in an environmentally friendly way, and designed through a highly collaborative process involving school construction professionals, teachers, administrators, and community members. Classes will begin at the Ocean View Elementary on Tuesday, August 17, a few days after the Grand Opening ceremony.
This highly anticipated reopening will be a tremendous asset for educating Albany students. Each pair of spacious classrooms connects through a shared meeting room to provide flexible breakout space for small group learning, class collaboration, and sharing of educational resources. Furniture is equipped for mobility and flexibility; natural and classroom light is balanced; and outside noise is minimized through noise-reduction technologies incorporated in ceilings and walls. All classrooms feature ample daylighting and operable windows provide natural ventilation. Multiple outdoor learning areas provide space for learning outside the classroom. On the second level, exterior walkways create “learning pockets” that support additional outdoor learning opportunities.
The design was guided by the goal of providing a strong sense of belonging for Ocean View students and their families, many of whom hail from international backgrounds. Long-time Principal Terryl Georgeson commented, “Students were at the center of every design decision.” The centerpiece of the new design is the vibrant new International Courtyard that provides a welcoming entry experience. It features trees representing each continent of the globe highlighting our diverse student population. A new spacious library sits as the “heart” of the campus, with a shaded outdoor maker space that offers instructional flexibility with various hands-on learning opportunities. Within the roomy library sits an indoor amphitheater for classroom read-alouds. In addition, the library offers a stellar location for evening PTA and community meetings.
“It’s been a pleasure being part of such a collaborative project team. AUSD set up a project which encouraged community involvement, social equity, and inclusion from Day One of this Design-Build campus. The resulting quality of the new campus is something all those who contributed should be proud of,” stated Overaa Construction Project Director Douglas Espland II.
Albany Unified School District is a statewide leader in setting high environmental standards for school buildings. In 2016, Albany’s Board of Education voted to adopt the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) standards, the “green building” rating program for K-12 schools, before the design process began for the four projects funded by School Bond Measures B & E. The Albany Middle School Annex, completed in 2019, and the Albany High School Addition, completed in 2020, have both received CHPS verification, a coveted honor that certifies the building meets challenging building standards. The architectural firm Gould Evans and Overaa Construction worked closely with a citizen’s committee of construction professionals, including local architects and engineers, to ensure that the new Ocean View campus will similarly pass the CHPS verification process, which takes about a year.
“As an Albany resident and parent, this project is personal for me. It’s been rewarding to collaborate with the District to design in support of the Albany community,” said Lauren Maass, Principal-in-Charge with Gould Evans. “Design has the power to create and reinforce connections between students, their communities and environments, strengthening an authentic sense of belonging.”
The new campus is Net Zero Ready, with a high-efficiency mechanical system, the elimination of natural gas, and dedicated roof space for a future solar panel installation. The District is exploring avenues for energy generation at Ocean View and other schools district-wide, to increase the AUSD’s capacity for sustainable energy generation. The AMS Annex has a 81kW solar photovoltaic array installed that is providing electricity for that building.
Part of long-term sustainability is increasing “active transportation” to and from school, a goal of the District. The Jackson Street entrance has been redesigned to increase pedestrian safety, and bike/scooter racks have been installed.
AUSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Wells asserts, “Ocean View Elementary School has been built within budget, despite the extreme escalation of construction costs in the last several years. Seeing this beautiful new campus and these extraordinary classrooms, you might think that we let our dreams get ahead of the budget, but that is not the case. This is the third project that AUSD has completed within our defined budget, a testament to our commitment to the community to be fiscally responsible. We are continuing to watch costs carefully as we move on to the rebuilding and renovation of Marin Elementary School, the final project funded by School Bond Measures B & E."
All are welcome to the Grand Opening of the new Ocean View Elementary School on August 14, 2021 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 1000 Jackson Street, Albany, CA, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, open house, and self-guided tours. Join community leaders, teachers, administrators, staff, Gould Evans, Overaa Construction, Inc., and students to celebrate the opening of this valuable new facility.
Albany Unified School District
The mission of Albany Unified School District is to provide excellent public education that empowers all to achieve their fullest potential as productive citizens. Website: www.ausdk12.org
Gould Evans’ award-winning designs are recognized for their specificity to people and place. Website: www.gouldevans.com
Overaa Construction was founded in 1907 and is a fourth-generation family business headquartered in Richmond, CA. Website: www.overaa.com
Derivi Castellanos Architects
DCA brings extensive design-build experience, familiarity with state requirements, and cost management skills to school construction project management. Website: www.dcaaia.com