Board approves education specifications for high schools as part of long-range facilities plan

Earlier this month, IUSD’s Board of Education approved a set of educational specifications for the district’s high schools, marking the latest step in the process to develop a longterm “facilities roadmap” for the district.

Educational specifications – or ed specs – describe the various instructional activities that will be housed within a school and detail the spatial relationships and special features that will be needed to support those activities. Not only are they a requirement of the state Education Code, they’re considered a critical piece of IUSD’s developing Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan, which will drive construction and modernization decisions for the next two decades.

District planners and representatives from Irvine-based LPA Inc. presented diagrams at the Feb. 7 Board of Education meeting depicting the facilities desired at an Irvine-quality high school and their proximity to one another, along with detailed program descriptions. With the board’s approval, these specifications will guide the development of new campuses, as well as upgrades to existing sites.

You may recall that ed specs for elementary and middle schools were approved back in November, along with a set of guiding principles for the Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan. At that time, then-board President Sue Kuwabara expressed the need to have a “thoughtful and thorough facilities roadmap in place, ensuring future generations of Irvine families have access to world-class schools and amenities.”

“Our district has earned a reputation for designing and building first-rate educational facilities over the course of its 40-year history, and much of that can be attributed to diligent long-range planning,” Kuwabara said.

District planners and representatives from LPA have so far connected with hundreds of local stakeholders to determine what employees and community members value in school facilities, with central themes focusing on flexibility, collaboration, school culture, enrichment programs and technology.

IUSD’s Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan is expected to be finalized later this year. For more information on the process, or to take a look at the ed specs approved for elementary, middle and high schools, click here.