New Helms Middle School
Seismically safe, state-of-the-art buildings replaced all of the former school buildings. All utilities (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fire alarm, data, phone, and security systems) were upgraded to meet contemporary and future technology challenges. The site is organized into public and academic zones, and is fully accessible. The main entry of the school includes a public plaza and is located adjacent to the administration and multi-purpose building. A covered veranda along the main quad connects administration, community/after school programs, library, and gymnasium, and a covered patio provides access to the school’s multipurpose/performing arts/café and music room.
The academic section of the new school contains three identical two-story buildings located along San Pablo Creek on the quiet side of the site. They each include an open courtyard that leads to the school’s main quad which is shared by the entire school, allowing each building to become a small school or academy and form its own community.
“We hope that the kids, feeling more secure and motivated, will try harder.” – Helms Middle School parent
- Address: 2500 Road 20
- City: San Pablo, CA
- Client: West Contra Costa Unified School District
- Photo Credits: Rien van Rijthoven
- Links to media publications: Richmond Confidential, SF Gate