One of the first in-district charter schools with Berkeley USD, REALM underwent a second expansion within a converted industrial building dating from the 1940s. Previous projects readied the shell building and ground floor for educational use. This project built out the remaining second and third floor, and improved movement throughout the building by installing a larger staircase designed to work in conjunction with the existing elevator.
Working with the District’s limited budget, AE3 was able to strategically adapt existing partitions and features (including an old safe that was reused as file storage) to build out five new, 20-student classrooms complete with smart board and electronic learning aids, a multipurpose/athletic space, food service area, a “fab” workshop that will allow students to create STEM projects, and a new library. The design capitalizes on the building’s industrial look and feel.