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Belen Consolidated Schools

Belen Family School

Belen, NM


The Belen Family School is an alternative school that serves 1st through 8th grade. Created in 1994, its mission is to allow home school students to participate in school wide activities and provide a strong connection of curriculum and instruction between home and school. The program provides the opportunity for students to learn with multiage, heterogeneous & cooperative learning groups. Having had seven different homes over the life of the program, its new and permanent home is east of downtown Belen, situated between the railyard and the Rio Grande Bosque in a quiet, mixed-use neighborhood.

The design inspiration is that of the hay barn. These modest structures are found throughout the surrounding community. Their simplicity of form and use of raw, pragmatic materials provide an inspiration for the school. These vernacular influences are interpreted in a new, contemporary adaptation, emphasizing a communal transparency.

• 21st Century Learning Environment

• Open, flexible learning environments for multiple sessions and varying group sizes

• Courtyard design, utilizing outdoor circulation space which can double as an outdoor learning environment and save valuable square footage

• Ability for a small staff to observe most of the school spaces from their own area

• Secure entry with the building creating a secure perimeter and secure interior courtyard

• Sustainable Passive Design

• Oriented to take advantage of solar orientation, and shielding outdoor areas from westerly winter winds

• Provision for future classroom wings

• Designed to maximize and be innovative with every space

AIA Architectural “Citation Award, General Design 2016”

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