The sixth and seventh floors of the San Deigo Central Library are no longer stacks of books and an assemblage of chairs—with the help of LPA Architects, this under-utilized space is now home to e3 Civic High. As one of the first charter schools located within an active public library, this institution’s three ‘e’s rightfully stand for “engage, educate, and empower.”
Acentech was selected by designers to provide acoustics and audiovisual consulting for the project. This unusual co-location of a charter high school within a public library offers extensive opportunities for collaboration and engagement, as both organizations support a mission of lifelong learning and literacy. The design model demonstrates the mutual benefit of going beyond simply sharing space to sharing a common purpose.
e3 Civic High is an innovative charter school that diversifies the learning opportunities for all students in San Diego. The themes that the design and curriculum support are: cultural and social literacy; new media & information technology; nutrition and wellness; flexible school day with internships and job shadowing; and civic engagement and community service.
LPA designed open and modular spaces for the school which allow an interactive and flexible educational experience for the students. Acentech’s design approach integrated architectural acoustics and modular sound masking technology to enhance the acoustics of the classrooms. The masking system adjusts the background noise to an appropriate level conducive to activity in the room, such as lecture, test, or group study scenarios. Our recommendations for reconfigurable and portable audiovisual equipment further support the flexible design.