Valdez Elementary School

Aurora, CO

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Valdez Elementary School was a complete renovation of an existing playground and surrounding landscape as a part of the Learning Landscapes program through Denver Public Schools. The design work was a collaboration with a graduate student in University of Colorado Denver’s landscape architecture department. In addition, the design process included working with: school teachers and administrators, parents, Denver Public Schools, and the surrounding community through a public process.

The design concept centers on the creation of a main square or “Zocolo”. The square is the heart of the school for the students, teachers, and administrators. It also serves as a gathering space for the surrounding community. Within the square sits the outdoor classroom with a custom designed shade structure above it that provides a comfortable learning environment. The outdoor classroom is large enough for all the students to sit in at once and acts as an outdoor school assembly space.

City of Aurora Xeriscape Garden Master Plan

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