Architect selected for new school

The Chawanakee Unified School District has selected the architectural firm, Integrated Designs by SOMAM, Inc. to design its new K-8 school that will serve the students in the 1,600-acre master-planned community of Tesoro Viejo located east of Highway 41, three miles north of Ave. 12.

The new elementary school is expected to serve 600 students and employ up to 20 teachers plus nearly 50 additional support staff and will be located in the first village of Tesoro Viejo. Class sizes will be small and focused on individual learning with curriculum tailored to match the community, allowing students to learn about the land, its rich agricultural history, and green technology.

The district plans to use the community’s design and construction as learning opportunities for students, and will also tie its curriculum to the new medical clinic at Tesoro Viejo and possibly use the physicians as an educational resource.

“We are a close-knit community, and our new school will be no different,” said district Superintendent Bob Nelson. “It will be developed around the notion of supporting family, health and education. Our schools serve as a nucleus for the surrounding residents and we want this school to also serve as a hub within the community.”

The Chawanakee Unified School District is an innovative, project-based, 21” Century school district in the Sierra Foothills of Eastern Madera County, spanning the communities of North Fork, O’Neals, Bass lake, Coarsegold and Tesoro Viejo.

Integrated Designs has an extensive background in the design of educational centers within the Central Valley. Their mission is to deliver architectural and planning services assisting clients in every project phase with a high level of innovation so that every project is delivered on time and within budget. To learn more about the firm visit

- Chawanakee Unified School District