Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School

  • Location:

    San Diego, California

  • Client:

    San Diego Unified School District

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Features & Highlights

  • Construction activities arranged around the school schedule to avoid disruption to student learning
Project Overview

A thoughtful, kid-centered approach was at the center of construction for the new Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School. The project consisted of five completely new, state-of-the-art school buildings. Sundt constructed a 22,000-square-foot, two-story building with 18 classrooms; a 5,426-square-foot administrative building; a 4,538-square-foot special education building, new classroom halls for both kindergarten and preschool and a new outdoor amphitheater. The team also fully refurbished the multi-purpose building, comprised of a multi-purpose room, library media center, cafeteria and kitchen. Exterior improvements included new athletic play courts, playgrounds, turf soccer field and all new sidewalks and public improvements around the entire block of the campus.

The building’s design includes well-defined open spaces, human-scale walkways and furnishings, variety in color and in textures, and ample use of natural light. Research shows these elements can help stimulate the brain, while also making kids feel more comfortable, curious and safe. All of this contributes to a better learning experience.

Setting students up for success is something that happens long before the building is turned over. Sundt consistently communicated with school staff and timed work around the school schedule. For example, deliveries and heavy equipment were carefully coordinated to avoid student drop-off and pick-up. If students had an important test, noisy practices were halted.

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“Sundt is a strong construction partner. They were supremely knowledgeable of the work scope and project schedule, yet flexible enough to adapt quickly when inevitable delays, unforeseen conditions, and design changes developed. Several times through the life of the project, changes to work sequencing or phasing plans were implemented – always with expert input from the contractor’s perspective, to minimize impact to the overall project duration. I can recommend Sundt as a preferred partner – we are taking the whole team down to the Marston Middle School Whole Site Modernization project next.”

Bob Snipes, Construction Manager, San Diego Unified School District