Kurt Hunker

Acting Dean, School of Architecture and Construction Management

Project Name: Skyline Elementary School

Project Details:

  • Solana Beach Unified School District
  • Kindergarten - 6th grade
  • 67,000 SF
  • Reinforced masonry construction
  • North-facing clerestory windows
  • Replaces an outdated and deteriorated 60-year old facility

What are you working on now?
Schedule permitting, I try to stay active in professional practice by taking on consulting design projects, such as Skyline. In the past year, I have also consulted on the design of another new elementary school, Emerson-Bandini in the Shelltown area of San Diego and a new ranger station at Mission Trails Regional Park. All three projects have been with Davy Architecture whose founder, Ric Davy, has been a friend and colleague for over 30 years.

How did you become involved in this project?
Having had a long and fruitful relationship with Davy, they asked me to join the team as a consulting project designer. Together we have a nice track record of civic and educational work and enjoy working with each other.

What has been your favorite aspect of this project?
I don’t know if there is one favorite, but I certainly enjoy collaborating with current and former students. On the Skyline project, my former student Enrique Rodriguez (B. Arch. and M. Arch. II, NewSchool) is Project Manager and current student Joel Lazaro is a key member of the field team. I also enjoy interaction with the client, which in this case has been any number of administrators, teachers, community members, and other school supporters.

In what ways are NewSchool students involved?
There are also NewSchool students involved at Skyline on the construction side of things, working for the construction manager Balfour Beatty. It has been fun to interact with them, too.

What’s next? Do you have any other projects coming up?
I will continue to stay involved with Skyline through construction. It is scheduled to be ready for students when they return this fall—a very fast schedule for this kind of work. And there will be work to do on Emerson as well. At the moment, I’m not sure I can handle much more than that!

Anything else you’d like to add?
For me, watching a design become a building is immensely satisfying. It is also extremely informative for my ongoing professional work. We do this again and again, and we learn from what we do: that’s why they call it “practice!”

Learn more about the project here.