The La Paz South Campus was designed as a living learning laboratory for the entire student population and surrounding community. Located about 1km from the Pacific Ocean on 2.8 hectares of previously cleared pasture land generously donated by the Mar Vista Project, the facilities are constructed to LEED Silver Standards and designed to respect the rich Guanacaste culture and landscape, while embracing LEED principals in both passive and active energy conservation systems. Through careful planning and community participation the land is being repurposed to demonstrate the ability for humans, plants and animals to co-inhabit fragile ecosystems such as Guanacaste’s Tropical Dry Forest.
Arenal Campus: Built in 2014 these facilities host the 3rd through 6th graders.
- The Library and Media Center: Increasing in size every day, our library offers a physical space for students to explore our extensive hard copy and digital collection.
- 6 Primary School classrooms: Dedicated to the core subjects, primary school classrooms are shared by each grade level due to the nature of the dual immersion program.
Chirripo Campus (Grades 7-12): Built in 2011 these facilities host the 7th-12th grade including the IB Diploma Program.
- Science Laboratory: While the true laboratory is outside in the biologically and geologically diverse land of Costa Rica, the science laboratory offers students a place to engage in data processing and analysis with highly technical equipment such as vernier lab probes and a centrifuge.
- 5 Secondary School Classrooms for grades 7-12: Spacious and air conditioned, these facilities are the epicenter of our high school student centered experience.
Rincon de la Vieja Campus: (COMING SEPTEMBER 2016) will host Preschool through 2nd grade
- Equipped with two playgrounds, 6 classrooms, and a variety of common areas the Rincón de la Vieja facilities will host students aged 2-8.
The Arts at La Paz
While knowledge and information are a portion of the academic experience at La Paz, the application of knowledge through creative and innovative means is what makes 21st century leaders.
- The Stage: Plays host to Coffeehouses, Juice Boxes, visiting performers, graduations, and recess hang-out time.
- Visual Arts Studio: Creative interpretation of knowledge is embedded into the La Paz curriculum beginning in preschool. This fully equipped art facility supports innovation at La Paz.
- Music Studio: From intensive school wide ukelele lessons in the primary school to the La Paz High School Rock and Roll band, the practice starts here and continues at the home. With a fully functional recording studio, students are encouraged to experiment with the creation of sound.
- Cafe La Paz: School lunches are served here by our professional chefs Jackie and Raul Salas. The culinary arts is an up and coming addition to the Arts program at the school with a fully functional teaching kitchen soon to come. (photo of lunch time students eating in the grade 3-6)
La Paz students live and learn outdoors and Athletic Program is no exception. With the inauguration of the Gold Coast League in January of 2016 these facilities will play host to a variety of interscholastic competitions.
- Soccer field
- Skate ramp
- Showers/locker rooms
- Basketball Gym (North Campus)
- Yoga Studio (North Campus)
Multi-purpose community areas
- The Guanacaste Tree: The social center of the campus hosts the Wednesday farmers market as well as countless social and academic experiences.
- The Compass Room: Hosts the secondary school morning meeting and civic presentations. The compass in the students is a consistent reminder to the importance of place in the learning experience.
- The Central Offices: The welcome center where people from all cultures and socioeconomic levels can feel comfortable and proud to walk through the doors of a facility that is dedicated to the microcosm of globalization that is coastal Guanacaste.
- The “Soyla”: Meaning a space used for everything in Spanish the Soyla hosts the adult books exchange, small high school classes, as well as Student Government meetings.
- “Chispa”: The school store is run by the La Paz 10th grade business class as a core part of their curriculum. It offers healthy snacks and spirit gear to the broader community.
Sustainable Features of the Campus:
- Tropical Dry Forest Native Plant Garden in collaboration with local non-profit Pro Nativas:
- Reforestation Nursery in collaboration with local non-profit Salve Monos:
- Black Water Treatment Plant with Integrated Water Irrigation System in collaboration with Eloy Wastewater Treatment:
- Solar Panels in collaboration with Pura Vida Energy Systems.
- Post Consumer and Industrial Waste Wall System in collaboration with Plycem:
- Use of native sustainably reforested tree species for school structure in collaboration with Mar Vista Development:
- Passive cooling design in collaboration with DYS Arquitectos:
- Complete soccer field with locally grown grass with minimal irrigation.
- The Chicken Coop: 6th graders raise chickens and sell their eggs at the weekly farmers market.
- The Pen: Whether raising rabbits, pigs, or crickets, this space is used by the 6th graders in their study of animal protein sources.
- The Greenhouse: 4th graders grow a variety of plant species from seed in this outdoor laboratory.
Cynthia Ruetz Yoga Center
Every class has an opportunity to utilize this space on a daily basis. This daily interaction with nature through reading, writing, or discussion is an essential component of our place-based education. It’s also where La Paz students begin each day at the “Community Meeting.” Students greet each other and share classroom projects, personal stories, songs, performances, and weekly events.
Justin and Jack Ruetz Basketball Center
The new state of the art, air-conditioned, wood floor gymnasium is an ideal location for creative movement, performances, PE and athletic activities.
Paul and Connor Kells Skatepark
The skatepark has presently been converted into two classrooms for the 4th-6th grade while the school prepares for the impending expansion. Previously, the skatepark was available to the kids during lunch and recess and on certain days after school. It also serves as a great place for experiments in the physical sciences.
This peaceful space serves as the entrance to La Paz. The front and administrative offices are both located here. This area is also home to the La Paz Community garden, which offers the students a welcome pathway to learning each day.