Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School

San Diego, CA

54,000 SF

$13.3 million


Located within the San Diego Unified School District, the school known as Flo-Jo is a 6.5 acre joint-use campus that serves as a focal point for the densely populated City Heights neighborhood. This project was part of the District’s “Model School Development Project,” intended to create an urban village with open space, market-rate and affordable housing, recreation areas and areas to access community services. Designed to resemble a college campus, this “walk-to” school’s site features grassy areas for small interactive learning groups, outdoor activity areas and indoor/outdoor learning environments that connect the classroom to the urban landscape.

The environmentally sensitive design allows the school to meet educational needs while fostering livability and addressing the needs of the City Heights community. Locally characterized as a community undergoing the transition from blight to restoration, the school is built to accommodate more than 700 students, from Kindergarten through Grade 5. The buildings have curved metal roofs, mustard-colored stucco walls with decorative joint patterns and ceramic tile mosaic accents. The site includes a multi-purpose recreational center and a joint-use turf field, provided in cooperation with the City of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department.