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/ Rosa Parks Elementary School

After Rosa Parks Elementary was declared seismically unsafe following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Berkeley Unified School District realized its vision of creating a community-oriented beacon school to serve the community and become a model for urban areas throughout the nation. Working closely with the district, teachers, and community members, Ratcliff planned and designed a new K-5 school that provides pre-school, before- and after-school childcare programs, a Learning Resource Center for students and parents, as well as space for family programs, counseling, and healthcare services.

Composed of a series of buildings which fit comfortably into the existing residential neighborhood, classrooms are clustered to provide varied programs where ideas, materials and resources are shared in a mutually supportive learning environment. Color is cleverly used to enhance forms and shapes and differentiate special spaces and buildings. For example, the Reading Resource Room uses a classic schoolhouse red to proclaim its importance at the very center of the site while its shape evokes the water towers that were part of the neighborhood’s historic fabric.


Berkeley, CA


51,000 SF


  • Design Bid Build


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Planning
  • Programming