CENTRO RESIDENCIAL DE OPORTUNIDADES
EDUCATIVAS DE CEIBA
LOCATION: ROOSEVELT ROADS U.S. NAVAL BASE, CEIBA, PR
SIZE: 90,000 SF
RAFAEL CASTRO MONTES DE OCA
ABNEL JO. HERNÁNDEZ
JUAN R. REQUENA & ASOCIADOS
GREEN ENGINEERING GROUP
This project’s objective was to rehabilitate an abandoned elementary and pre-school building complex to establish the C.R.O.E.C (“Ceiba’s Educational Opportunities Residential Center” in Spanish) . C.R.O.E.C. is a high school for selected students with the highest GPAs in the Puerto Rico Public School System. It’s condensed curriculum of advanced sciences and mathematics classes is offered by University of Puerto Rico professors, 5 days a week from 8:00am to 8:00pm allowing students to complete a 4 years highs school education in 3 years. Since students come from all parts of the island, most of them remain interned during weekdays in the school’s dormitories and visit their families during weekends.
The project is located at Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Ceiba Puerto Rico. The Naval Base was operational from the 1940’s until 2007, when it was abandoned as part of the Department of Defense plan to close American military bases through-out the world. The site is composed of an assortment of structures built by the NAVY in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. None of the buildings complied with current building regulations and several were found to have asbestos and lead containing materials. Hence, the project began by making an extensive life safety (IBC & NFPA), health, and ADA compliance review of the existing facilities and presenting several strategies to achieve a cost-effective compliance retrofit design. Also, studies were made to incorporate passive solar design elements in the classrooms, laboratories, and dormitories and allow a minimum energy consumption; for instance, a wind chimney system to ventilate classrooms was devised as a possible science project for students to develop.
The intervention includes the selective demolition of buildings to accommodate the classrooms, library, administration, athletic facilities and dormitories for 245 students and monitors. The design intention was to transform the building itself into an educational artifact by incorporating elements that alluded to the world of mathematics and science and by expressing the mechanical, electrical, and structural elements of the buildings. On the other hand, the academic intensity of C.R.O.E.C.’s curriculum required that the campus provided students opportunities for relaxing between classes, hence, great attention was given to the design of common spaces in and around the academic areas and the dormitories.
ABNEL JO. HERNÁNDEZ