Joe Harris Elementary School

Wilson & Company designed an innovative prototype facility that stands as a testament to advancements in educational infrastructure, catering to the needs of 760 K-5 elementary students in Rio Rancho. Spanning 86,400 square feet, this state-of-the-art school prioritizes an enhanced educational environment and embraces sustainability through energy conservation features. The design incorporates heightened insulation, LED lighting, and water-conserving plumbing, contributing to its LEED Silver certification and positioning it as an energy and water conservation model.

The steep-sloping site’s challenges prompted strategic solutions for capturing and using rainfall for irrigation. At the same time, water-efficient landscaping addressed the prevalent fine-blowing sand on the Rio Rancho west side. The innovative design extends to the roof, which is tailored to accommodate a photovoltaic system, further aligning Joe Harris with its commitment to sustainable practices.

Ensuring the success of such projects hinges on community support and stakeholder buy-in. Recognizing this, Wilson & Company engaged with local authorities and influential organizations, including the PTA and neighborhood groups, to foster a collaborative approach. Regular meetings were conducted to provide written and graphical information, effectively conveying the benefits that Joe Harris brings to the community. Joe Harris elevates the educational experience for its students and sets a standard for environmentally conscious and community-driven school development in Rio Rancho.