Rosa Parks School

Portland, OR
Portland Public Schools

The Community Campus at New Columbia is a mixed-use partnership project located in the recently reconstructed New Columbia, the largest low-income housing revitalization project in Oregon history. The project was conceived as a public/private partnership including a new K-6 school, Boys & Girls Club, and a revitalized Parks & Recreation Community Center, on land donated by the Housing Authority of Portland.

The Community Campus concept, and a new way of addressing the needs of the whole child, provided new opportunities in design. Simple design characteristics like a welcoming entry, a friendly front office, and spaces for professional collaboration were combined with small learning communities (SLCs), creating a small school atmosphere to promote great academic and personal success.

Projected to reduce energy consumption by 30%, that savings has been exceeded. The school is a naturally lit educational environment designed to be a sustainable learning laboratory. With photovoltaic cells providing real-time readouts of energy consumption on displays in the school and classrooms, to 100% retention of stormwater, to a community garden, Rosa Parks School is Portland Public School’s first “green” development.

Partners individually could have spent $34 million to develop their projects individually. By working together, sharing space, and aligning programs, the Campus was developed for $17 million.