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Press Kit
| no: 3202-01
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Press kit - Press release - Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects

Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy

Thermal, United States

PJHM Architects

Laguna Hills, United States, 2018-01-16 -

PJHM Architects have designed an agricultural educational facility for the Coachella Valley Unified School District. Intense climate mitigation and the revitalization of an agricultural community define the Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy (Ag+NRA). PJHM have taken a collaborative approach with the District, nonprofits, and local industry leaders to set the school’s long-term vision, tailoring its campus to suit the growing need for agriculturally based curriculum. This project will also provide a joint-use haven for a roster of local farms.


Surrounded by agricultural land consisting of date palm orchards and seasonal crop land, the Coachella Valley High School campus will soon house one of the largest and most technologically advanced agricultural programs in California. Located in the Coachella Valley, the primary date-growing region in the U.S., the 20-acre site is 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs and an astonishing 130 feet below sea level. With temperatures reaching plus 120F, an overwhelming design challenge is managing the heat. The Ag+NRA implements multiple fundamental design strategies by PJHM to mitigate this extreme environment.


The Ag+NRA includes east-west orientation, extensive use of shade, water harvesting, and thermal mass with night ventilation. The south facade is lined with citrus orchards and date palms, preventing the building from overheating during the extremely hot seasons. The gradually canted metal roof/thermal break, nearly ¼ mile long, reaches only 40’ at its widest point, providing a prime situation for solar deflection, and gathers and multiplies the northwesterly winds flanking the site for passive downdraft ventilation. Additionally, the structure affords daylighting opportunities along its north facade to help diminish the use of artificial lighting. Lastly, the rooftop photovoltaic system, when fully optimized, will fully power both the Ag+NRA and adjacent existing high school campus. All design strategies combined, the facility is capable of reaching net zero status.


Upon entering beneath a restored orange grove, visitors move through a large shaded canopy of dappled light that opens onto the main courtyard. To host large community gatherings and installations, PJHM Architects designed a semicircular 2,000-square-foot amphitheater into the heart of the campus, organizing the school’s deluge of indoor/outdoor learning spaces around it. Using an academy-style approach, students will spend a majority of their day at the Ag+NRA, taking common core classes in history, math, and language with primary electives in agriculturally based biology, physics, chemistry, nutritional science, industrial design, and business. Secondary elective offerings include farm and turf management, environment, veterinary science, aqua-farming, and viticulture sciences. The Ag+NRA will redefine the California high school agricultural education. As proving grounds for students, it will provide pathways for those wishing to pursue careers in agriculture and technical sciences as well as feed both in-state and out-of-state universities and colleges. A forum for theory, technology, and practical knowledge, the Ag+NRA will foster cooperative relationships with local industry leaders and provide real world practice, mentorship, and exploration. Embracing the FFA motto “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve,” the Ag+NRA will be a valuable asset to students, educators, and the region as a whole.


The Ag+NRA will redefine the California high school agricultural education. As proving grounds for students, it will provide pathways for those wishing to pursue careers in agriculture and technical sciences as well as feed both in-state and out-of-state universities and colleges. A forum for theory, technology, and practical knowledge, the Ag+NRA will foster cooperative relationships with local industry leaders and provide real world practice, mentorship, and exploration. The Ag+NRA will redefine the California high school agricultural education. As proving grounds for students, it will provide pathways for those wishing to pursue careers in agriculture and technical sciences as well as feed both in-state and out-of-state universities and colleges.


Project Data

Official Name: Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy

Location: Thermal, California

Client: Coachella Valley Unified School District

Architect: PJHM Architects, Inc.


About PJHM

Established in 1963, PJHM Architects Inc. have specialized in the planning, designing and modernizing of California school facilities. Their history as an educational design firm has enabled PJHM to develop and enhance essential skills and techniques necessary for providing cost effective and efficient services for their clients. PJHM believe their passion for providing forward thinking, engaging educational spaces and experiences plays an integral role in the success of their buildings and clients.

- 30 -


Media contact
  • PJHM Architects
  • Ken Podany, AIA - CEO
  • ken@pjhm.com
  • +1 949-496-6191
Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Plaza - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Plaza
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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30.0 x 14.01
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~ 16 MB
Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Garden Promenade - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Garden Promenade
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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30.0 x 18.33
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~ 20 MB
Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Orchard Walk - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Orchard Walk
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Aerial - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Aerial
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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30.0 x 14.01
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~ 19 MB
Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Aerial - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Aerial
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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Very High-resolution image
30.0 x 14.01
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~ 17 MB
Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Animal Show Ring - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Animal Show Ring
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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~ 20 MB
Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture -  CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Aerial Program - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Aerial Program
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Programming - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Programming
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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~ 13 MB
Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Floor Plan - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Floor Plan
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Section - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Section
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Section - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Site Section
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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29.24 x 9.2
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~ 1.8 MB
Press kit | 3202-01 - Press release | Coachella Valley High School Agriculture + Natural Resources Academy - PJHM Architects - Institutional Architecture - CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Building Systems - Photo credit: PJHM Architects
CVHS Agriculture + Natural Resources - Building Systems
Photo credit: PJHM Architects
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