Part of a high school remodel and expansion project, this new 14,500 square foot two-story Ninth Grade Academy and entry plaza will complete the northern edge of the campus. The program includes twelve general classrooms, a faculty workroom and restrooms. By widening, remolding and extending the existing north/south circulation and placing the new academy as termination to the axis, this new pedestrian concourse will now connect all program components through a safe, light filled and open pedestrian breezeway. The new ninth grade academy is designed around the learning environment. The north facing classrooms with their full height curtain wall and courtyard relationship extend the classroom space to the private adjacent landscape giving visual relief, light and view to each classroom. The classrooms are designed to maximize, enhance and encourage dialogue and collaboration between teacher and student. The interior flexible three wall teaching design can be configured for varying formal / informal instruction. The flexibility offers an ever changing environment, creating a stimulating atmosphere, heightening the level of instruction, awareness and student participation. The second floor faculty workroom overlooks the entry plaza giving a sense of transparency between faculty and students. The exterior rain screen of terra cotta colored, large perforated aluminum panels pulled away from the concrete wall structure gives a diaphanous soft image to a busy hard street condition. Planned for LEED-Silver, this Ninth Grade Academy Building will move the educational environment to a more profound and purposeful condition.