Albuquerque Public Schools’ nex+Gen Academy High School has received the Grand Award for outstanding educational facility design in the 20th Anniversary Fall 2011 Edition of LEARNING BY DESIGN, the national biannual guide that showcases innovative education design and construction projects from throughout the country.
Designed by the Albuquerque firm Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, the autonomous school shares a campus with Del Norte High School and is the first constructed ''new tech'' high school in the nation. The school’s curricular learning model was developed by the New Technology Foundation and supported financially by Sandia National Laboratories and Albuquerque industry partners. Financial support for student laptops were provided by Intel Corporation. Working in partnership with these entities, as well as Dell Computers and institutions of higher learning, benefits the students by exploring real-world applications to their academic projects.
The design of the high school incorporates large flexible studio-like spaces to facilitate and support technology rich curriculum goals for team teaching, student interaction, teamwork, and project collaboration. The environment fosters facilitation cooperation and cross-pollination between the teaching and learning modules. Technology is supported throughout the 47,000 square foot building designed for 400 students, providing hardwired and wireless connections. Teacher and student issued laptops are utilized for web-based curriculum tracking student research and project documentation. ''The building committee included representatives from Sandia Labs and the New Technology Foundation,'' said Karen Alarid, Director of Facilities Design + Construction for APS. ''The entire design team, representing industry, academics, and technology, fully focused on creating an environment conducive to learning math, science, engineering prep, and technology.'' In addition, nex+Gen Academy is designed to meet LEED Gold Certification standards.
LEARNING BY DESIGN is published twice annually by Stratton Publishing & Marketing, Inc and the National School Boards Association.