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Honors and Awards

The national publication Learning by Design has recognized Albuquerque Public Schools’ new Desert Willow Family School building as a 2010 Outstanding Project in its fall issue. Learning by Design is published twice a year by Stratton Publishing & Marketing, Inc., and the National School Boards Association. It honors outstanding pre-K to 12 and college/university building projects from across the country for their innovative design.

Desert Willow Family School is the first of several APS schools to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, the school is also the district’s only hybrid home-school and on-site education facility.

Working closely with the Principal Gael Keyes and the school’s building committee, the Hartman + Majewski Design Group planned and designed Desert Willow Family School based on the school’s philosophy of inspiring a “community of learners,” an established and successful learning program. The 3.5 acre state-of-the-art campus is comprised of three buildings that open to a central courtyard. The main building is a multi-purpose facility that incorporates the performing arts with learning. The two other buildings house classrooms and administrative spaces.

Each classroom has its own library, art supplies, and kitchen and is lit by clerestory windows and skylights. Artificial light is not required on most days. The green building materials selections, low-water native plants, and campus recycling programs are integrated into the core education curriculum. The sustainable design features result in a 30 percent reduction in energy costs.

“Many accomplished educators and talented architects participated in the selection of the recognized projects,” said Karen Alarid, executive director of capital for APS. “The students and their families, the visionary principal who drove the concept, the creative design team and APS are all proud to have Desert Willow Family School included in the education facilities honored for innovative excellence.”