This project involved the renovation of an existing 12,800 s.f. building built in the 1900â€™s which originally served as a schoolhouse. New construction, totaling 6,100 s.f., added a state-of-the art multi-purpose facility, administrative offices and library to the new school. Nestled in the heart of the Napa Valley, the school will focus on interactive learning and provide an independent study environment for young members of the community.
In addition, the new school offers a safe, vibrant, non-toxic environment which utilizes many sustainable elements. Original wood flooring was restored and carpeting made of recycled material was also used. A geothermal ground source HVAC system, one of the first of its kind in an educational building in California, provides heating and air conditioning for the building. This system collects the Earthâ€™s natural heat in winter through a series of pipes, called closed loops, which are installed below the surface of the ground. Fluid circulating in the loops carries heat to the building in winter and to the ground in the summer.
In addition to this â€œgeo-exchangeâ€ HVAC system, the Blue Oak School makes complete reuse of the 100-year old original school building on the site, which was at one time slated for demolition.