Faced with the limited availability of land but a desperate need for more classrooms, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was looking for a new, more efficient model for elementary schools which could be built on smaller sites but provide ample play space. Working with LAUSD, M&AA pioneered that model at Quincy Jones Elementary School: a three-story elementary school (K-5) over subterranean parking on a 2.9 acre site.
Breaking new ground at DSA with its pioneering design, M&AA’s model has become the standard for LAUSD’s elementary schools in dense urban areas. This design required approximately 25% less land than a conventional school, while providing all required exterior play areas for the kindergarten and elementary school. The key to this solution was the placement of all second grade classrooms at the second floor with separate exiting for second graders. Not only did M&AA pioneer a new model for elementary schools, it did so under budget, in a difficult bidding climate.