Newcomb Academy

The 40+ year institution of Newcomb Academy needed a serious transformation. We designed a multi-building campus with student quads and a pedestrian feel to respond to active neighborhood input on re-creating an open yet modern campus.

Selected for a complete campus renovation due to its inability to bring the existing structures up to current seismic codes, Newcomb Academy was Long Beach Unified School District’s response to community request for a contemporary facility. For their new 140,000 sf campus, the district asked us to provide architecture and interior design services to make their community’s vision a reality.

Our designers used a new planning motif organized around two major axes to establish clearer circulation and way finding for the students. In organizing eight new one- and two-story buildings, we moderated the large two-story stucco structures with playful shifts in wall planes and alternating colored bands of concrete block, yielding an ever-changing composition of texture and color. Open walkways and cascading stairs extended the intimate feel of the campus to the second level of several buildings.

Softened by a pleasant variety of exterior landscaping and interior courtyards, the building makes way for maximized natural lighting and features sustainable design through water-saving plumbing fixtures, drought-resistant landscaping and energy-efficient heating/air conditioning. The project participated in the CHPS (Collaborative for Higher Performance Schools) Verified Program, which ensures that the project has the required high performance features to realize the benefits associated with a high performance school, such as increased health, productivity, and student performance, and energy savings and decreased operating costs.

The new and improved Newcomb Academy showcases 46 classrooms and labs for visual arts, music, science and technology as well as a media center, multipurpose building, kitchen, gymnasium and administration areas. The resulting construction serves 980 students within an enriching composition of buildings and grounds, all designed to promote and foster the district’s pursuit of educational quality for generations to come.


Long Beach Unified School District


Long Beach, CA


10.9 acre campus master plan
140,000 sf new construction


Master Planning, Architecture, Interior Design


CHPS Verified