Gilroy Unified School District: Rod Kelley Elementary School Library / Perkins Eastman

Gilroy Unified School District: Rod Kelley Elementary School Library

Gilroy, California
The City of Gilroy both urban and rural. Campus improvements and additions address this dichotomy in form and function. Perkins Eastman Dougherty facilitated the planning process and design for three phases: a campus-wide IT upgrade, a new library, and converting the old library to a commercial kitchen. The process involved the design team, District representatives, and a school project committee consisting of administrators, teachers, and parents. Prioritizing of the projects addresses immediate needs, while providing long-term benefits.

The existing library was undersized and did not have the technological capabilities required for a 21st century learning environment. By building a new, freestanding library building, we were able to create a place that satisfies the District’s library goals, integrates technology into the instructional spaces, and doubles as the campus hub for the upper-grades. Gathering places and a creative environment teach and inspire students through a series of diverse reading spaces which harken back to the “cabinet of curiosities.”

The rural aesthetic, borrowed from Gilroy’s agricultural heritage, provides a practical and sustainable high volume form that houses a reading room, classroom, meeting room, 800 linear feet of book storage, computer kiosks and restrooms. The building defines a second entry to the campus and establishes a gateway for future expansion. The flexible covered portico creates outdoor reading areas while facilitating engineered stormwater retention. Other sustainable design features include daylight harvesting, natural ventilation, low flow plumbing fixtures and recycled content materials. Designed to CHPS criteria, the library responds to its local environment through solar orientation and natural ventilation.