Nevada Joint Union High School District
Grass Valley, California
student commons renovation,
modernized cafeteria-kitchen facilities &
new performing arts studio
The existing Nevada Union High School cafeteria occuped a prominent, central location within the campus and needed to be enlarged and updated to provide a viable facility that would keep students on campus for dining while also fulfilling a desire to make a place they would want to use for activities. In recent years off-campus lunch had become the norm along with renting area meeting halls for school sanctioned dances.
The existing kitchen and cafeteria at Nevada Union HS had not changed significantly from its 1961 opening when it was designed for 1,800 kids. The existing kitchen was completely re-constructed and nearly doubled in area with a 1,400 sf addition. The cafeteria space has been transformed with the enclosure of an existing adjacent 3,300 sf patio area that is incorporated spatially into the new multi-use student common area with structural steel braced frames at the existing concrete wall between the two spaces. Analysis of the room’s acoustics led the designers to include in the ceiling a series of suspended sloping acoustic panels below the existing roof structure which received sound insulation on the underside. New large skylights and clerestory openings glazed with insulated translucent panels that reduce heat loss and gain while also diffusing direct sunlight are featured in the space that for media viewing can be darkened with motor controlled rolling shade devices. Included in the design is a remote serving kitchen that is used to diffuse student serving lines and can be used as a warming kitchen for non-school related activity by local groups that rent the space from the district.