Palo Verde Elementary School

PALO VERDE (1).jpg


Palo Verde Elementary School

3450 Louis Road

Built:1953, 1955, 2004

Total Site Area:

5.0 Acres

Building Area/Miscellaneous Circulation


Parking Area


Hard-Court Play Area


Turf Play Area


Building Area:                          35,443 SF

Existing Classroom Size           960 to 1440 SF

2018/2019 Enrollment:           386

Palo Verde Elementary School is comprised of six permanent single-story buildings arranged in an elongated L configuration around a central playground and field space. 

The site is accessed from Louis Ave in front and Rorke Ave. in the back and is bounded on the two remaining sides by residences. The original buildings were the classroom wings and the Administration building, which were built in 1953.  A Multipurpose building and relocatable housing the Library Resource Center were constructed in 1955.

In 2004, a Building for Excellence project added a new library building and included renovation of the existing classrooms and the Administration building.  There are six relocatable buildings on this site, four housing classrooms and two housing Day-Care facilities.

Needs Summary

Palo Verde was originally planned for half day kindergarten, so the site lacks appropriate kindergarten classrooms for the extended day program.  The Multipurpose building is also undersized for the planned capacity for the site. The site also has no enrichment labs or a Learning Center. The enrollment for Palo Verde has been oversubscribed over the past several years, resulting in students being overflowed to neighboring campuses, leaving few opportunities to incorporate room for resource specialists and other uses.

Proposed masterplan projects include:

  • Demolish existing multipurpose, front classroom wing, and admin
  • Construct new multipurpose building, admin, nine classrooms, learning center and enrichment lab
  • Construct new resource center and enrichment labs adjacent to library
  • Construct new kindergarten classroom
  • Modernization of existing classrooms
  • A/C throughout
  • Exterior envelope improvements
  • Accessible playground and improved site circulation

PAUSD plans air conditioning installation at all schools. In conjunction with the air conditioning work the campus will require energy efficiency upgrades including envelope improvements such as new doors and windows, as well as solar panel installation. Classroom modernization will also include an upgraded technology infrastructure and equipment including projectors and LED screens.

Site work includes new paving, accessible playground, and planting.

Facilities Conditions

The Palo Verde site was extensively renovated during the Building for Excellence Program. The school is located on Louis Ave. and has no major traffic conflicts between vehicle and pedestrian patterns with its drop off and parking layout.   ADA site accessibility and parking was improved during Building for Excellence, but the campus is currently not in compliance with ADA requirements.

The asphalt fire lanes on campus were replaced in 2004. The hardcourt and parking lots were also resurfaced and are showing signs of fatigue. The redtop areas under the canopy are cracked and will need to be replaced in the future.

The sanitary sewer and domestic water lines feeding the campus are original and have not been replaced to date.  These lines should be evaluated and replaced if necessary.  Some portions of the fire water lines were installed during Building for Excellence, as was a new electrical service.  The gas service was replaced in 1976 and is run overhead exposed on the roof.  Site drainage systems were installed in 2004 to improve site drainage, but some areas of ponding remain around the perimeter of the site.

The existing buildings on the Palo Verde Elementary School campus are in generally good condition, due to the renovation as part of the Building for Excellence program.  However, this modernization program did not address several areas of the campus, which will need to be addressed with future funding. 

All of the buildings on campus have built up roofing, hollow metal doors and painted stucco exteriors.  The original windows were left in place, and include the original single pane glazing in most cases.  This is causing significant air infiltration and heat loss, which impacts the heating systems for the buildings during cold weather. 

While accessibility improvements were made during the 2004 renovation, including path of travel and restroom upgrades recent code changes will still need to be made in future projects. In 2004 voluntary seismic upgrades were undertaken for all the buildings and canopy structures, except for the Multipurpose building.

The campus has two major classroom wings that focus toward the central play areas.  The two classroom wings have large windows running the length of the exterior walls and have volume ceilings and clerestory windows in each classroom.  Toward the center of campus, each classroom opens below a large canopy, where picnic tables are arranged outside each classroom to serve as an outdoor learning area for each classroom space.  In addition to the two classroom wings, there are four modular classrooms located along the southern boundary and fire lane.

The classroom interiors in the two original classroom wings were all extensively modernized, with new flooring, wall surfaces, markerboards, furnace units, lighting, power and data distribution.  Portions of the casework were replaced with new plastic laminate units, with the remaining casework left in place as painted wood.  The glue up acoustic ceiling tiles were either replaced or left in place, and painted to appear uniform, diminishing the acoustic qualities of the tiles.

A new 2,986 SF Library was completed on this campus in 2004 that included a single classroom.  The Library is adequately sized, and no modernization is planned for this building. The Administration area was renovated with new flooring, casework and paint. Mechanical equipment, plumbing and lighting were replaced throughout.  The Multipurpose building was only slightly modernized, with new flooring and a handicap lift placed within the interior. 

The Multipurpose building is undersized at 2,666 SF and will be expanded to accommodate the planned campus capacity.