Fruit Valley Community Learning Center

  • LOCATION: Vancouver, WA
  • COMPLETED: 2005


The concept for the Fruit Valley Community Learning Center combines elementary education, early childhood programs, and family services into one facility. From the outside, the building resembles a Pacific Northwest lodge in a park-like setting. Inside, spaces are cozy and comfortable with wood and stone accents. Sharply contrasting the World War II-era elementary school that once stood across the street, the center is designed to be a catalyst for change in an economically depressed neighborhood.

The goal of the first phase of the Fruit Valley Community Learning Center is to create a versatile facility that could serve as both a school and a community center.  Learning spaces are designed with this dual purpose in mind, and program elements include a large activity room, spacious classrooms with movable walls, a multipurpose cafeteria and commons, and a full-service kitchen. Clerestory windows highlight circulation spines and improve way finding by bathing the pathways in light.

The 19,350 sq. ft. second phase of the project added a gymnasium, stage platform, classrooms, a co-op group work area, office and meeting rooms, and support spaces to the school. The addition blends seamlessly with the first phase, utilizing the same exterior and interior materials.