SUBMIT YOUR BUZZ TODAY! You are not signed in (Sign In or Register)


Friday, December 19, 2014 / Chawanakee Unified School District

The Chawanakee Unified School District Board has selected the architectural firm, Integrated Designs by SOMAM, Inc. to design its new K-8 school that will serve the students in the master-planned community of Tesoro Viejo located in Madera County.


The new elementary school is expected to serve 600 students and employ up to 20 teachers plus nearly 50 additional support staff and will be located in the first village of Tesoro Viejo.  Class sizes will be small and focused on individual learning with curriculum tailored to match the community, allowing students to learn about the land, its rich agricultural history, and green technology.  


“The selection process was extensive and included information-gathering visits to other districts. Our review committee included school board trustees, district staff, community representatives, parents and teachers,” said Bob Nelson, superintendent of Chawanakee Unified School District. “It was critical for us that the company selected be local and have a vested interest in the community.”


Three finalists were chosen from among the eight proposals received. Ultimately, the decision was made to stay local.


“We are honored to design the first school for Tesoro Viejo, creating a strong foundation for the future growth of the school district.  The competition was tough and there were so many great ideas,” said Curtis Flynn, project architect with Integrated Designs. “Our goal is to honor the architectural integrity of Tesoro Viejo and provide an authentic aesthetic and structural foundation for a sound cultural fit.” 


A model of innovative design and sustainable living, Tesoro Viejo will be a vibrant hub for southeastern Madera County with housing and business opportunities, a walkable Town Center, green living, thriving industry and neighborhood parks and schools where residents can live, work and play.


The District plans to use the community’s design and construction as learning opportunities for students, and will also tie its curriculum to the new medical clinic at Tesoro Viejo and possibly use the physicians as an educational resource.  “The newest facility will be built upon the principals of family, health and education. We want this school to serve as a hub within the community,” said Nelson.


“We are a close-knit community, and our new school will be no different. It will be developed around the notion of supporting family, health and education. Our schools serve as a nucleus for the surrounding residents and we want this school to also serve as a hub within the community,” said Nelson.


Nelson added that the District which has received national and state honors is driven by Project-Based Learning where students learn by doing, which is based on the 21st century educational principles of the 4 C's: Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking.


Chawanakee Unified School District is an innovative project-based, 21st century school district in the Sierra Foothills of Eastern Madera County, spanning the communities of North Fork, O'Neals, Bass Lake, Coarsegold and Tesoro Viejo.  For more information visit  


Integrated Designs has an extensive background in the design of educational centers within the Central Valley.  Their mission is to deliver architectural and planning services assisting clients in every project phase with a high level of innovation so that every project is delivered on time and within budget.  To learn more about the firm visit

Published by : Fran Bangert
This article has been viewed 1749 time(s).

Related Articles :
No Related Content Found

Share this article on LinkedIn

Report this article as abuse

Reviews : 0
User Rating :

Submit your Review