R/Hdo was part of a larger team selected to upgrade all facilities within the El Monte Unified School District. This included campus improvements at two high schools, including Arroyo, a new administration center, a new maintenance complex, and other ancillary facilities.

Arroyo High School has a diverse student body coming from the communities of El Monte, Temple City, Arcadia, and an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. Arroyo High School first opened to students in 1955 and the campus buildings and landscape were in drastic need of upgrading. The outdoor spaces for Arroyo High School were mainly paved and lacking in any amenities. Very little outdoor seating, shade, or night lighting were provided for the students.
The first major improvement was a man-made arroyo, creating a central outdoor gathering space in response to the school’s name. The 200-foot long arroyo creates a major green and shaded space in the center of the campus. The arroyo was designed to detain stormwater, allowing it to infiltrate back into the ground rather than be carried to the ocean via the storm drain system.

Additional improvement projects included expansion of the library and the adjacent grounds, a new classroom building and courtyard, covered outdoor patios for lunch activities, and turf and drainage improvements to the baseball fields.

In addition to the central arroyo feature, improvements were made to the library, a new classroom building, existing outdoor gathering areas, and baseball fields.

Location: El Monte, California

Role: Landscape Architect

Architect: Gonzales Goodale Architects

Owner: El Monte Unified School District

Budget: $1,300,000

Date of Completion: Fall 2011