January 2020 – Construction is underway on three new building projects at the OVS Upper Campus, including the state-of-the-art Aramont Science and Technology Center, the Grace Hobson Smith House dormitory, and the Littlefield Student Commons dining and library complex.
It is the most ambitious building project in school history – a $16-million improvement plan that replaces buildings lost in the Thomas Fire with new classrooms, science and media labs, a makerspace for engineering and robotics, and an expanded dorm for resident girls.
The Commons, a two-story dining hall, library, and student center, will create for the first time a place for the entire student body to gather for meals and special events. The Commons will include a kitchen and servery, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a mezzanine student lounge. It will also include a second-story library with expansive views of the Ojai Valley.
The rebuild will provide students with state-of-the-art academic and residential facilities that will support a burgeoning science and technology curriculum. It will also feature environmental sustainability features, including solar power and a lithium-battery energy storage system, which will dramatically eliminate CO2 emissions and ensure the campus can function in the event of power outages.
The buildings are all designed by Los Angeles architect Frederick Fisher and Partners, whose work is featured at USC, Caltech, Princeton, LACMA and other academic and arts institutions. The designs are architecturally aligned with the rest of the mid-century campus and feature stunning west-facing views of the Ojai Valley.
The 195-acre Upper Campus, located in the east end of the Ojai Valley at the end of Reeves Road, was severely damaged during the December 2017 Thomas Fire. The campus re-opened a month later with temporary dorms and classrooms. With the support of our alumni and families, the school began construction in fall 2019. The projects will be completed during the 2020-2021 school year, and are expected to meet LEED-Gold standards for environmental sustainability.