Union School District Elementary Schools

New STEAM Makerspaces on Six School Sites: Alta Vista, Carlton, Guadalupe, Lietz, Noddin, and Oster Elementary Schools

San Jose, CA

The six elementary schools in the Union School District lacked adequate space for hands-on learning and makerspace activities. To solve this problem, QKA designed an identical 1,920 square foot STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) building on each school site that links to each school’s existing Media Center via the creation of a new outdoor learning area. These outdoor learning spaces allow maker activities to be conducted outside, as well as provide space for individual, small group, and large group activities.

On the interior, each STEAM building is designed for flexibility, utilizing operable partitions to create either one large classroom or two separate activity spaces, a green screen/breakout space, moveable furniture, and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open up to the outdoor learning area. Additionally, the buildings were specially designed to be sustainable – equipped to be energy-efficient, they feature natural lighting, high quality indoor air and acoustics, and optimal thermal comfort.

School District
Union School District

1,920 sq.ft. (STEAM Building) + 2,000 sq.ft. (outdoor learning space) (New Construction)

Completion Date
December 2017

Final Construction Cost


Elementary School
New Construction
Outdoor Learning