Santa Clarita Valley International (SCVi) Charter school added a new gate to its campus earlier this month that maintains the campus’ “open feel” while giving students more privacy and safety.
Located near the school’s CAFÉ, the gate replaced an existing chain link fence and enclosed The Upper School Quad area.
“What the fence has really done for us is given us that open feel. The kids are still practicing to be autonomous, but it still give that security and that quad area,” said Director of Facilities April Cauthron who spent nine months working with contractors and vendors to design and construct the gate. “It gives it more of a feel of camaraderie in the area for them, like it’s their space.”
Although the physical structure is there, the gate was designed in a unique way that allows students to walk in and out of the staggered, three-paneled steel structure.
“It has spill ways so kids can still walk in and out and have that open concept feel, but it provides that safety concept feel,” Cauthron said.
Founder and CEO Amber Raskin said the gate was designed that way to continue to “university feeling” of the charter school’s campus, which aims to have an open environment in classroom and outdoor settings.
“We wanted to create community and we wanted to maintain that open-campus feel so we designed it in a way so it does both,” Raskin said. “Our program is prepping kids to go to college and to be independent. We did that intentionally here with the way we designed that.”
The addition also gave students more room for recreational activities like basketball and more privacy in the open quad area.
“We did make the space larger and the administration there is working on ordering more tables and things like that to give it more of a courtyard feel,” Cauthron said.
The structure also acts as a physical safety barrier and as a reminder for students to be vigilant about who should and should not be behind the campus opening.
“As they move forward we want them to be ready for college and we want them to be aware of them of their environment of all times,” Cauthron said. “It gives them more of a sense of ‘Do those people belong on this side of the fence or not.'”
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