New visual arts classrooms debut at Torrey Pines High

The new visual arts center at Torrey Pines.
(Karen Billing)

Students at Torrey Pines High School have new spaces to explore their creativity with the completion of the visual arts center on campus. The new building, a Prop AA project, includes four classrooms for ceramics, painting, sculpture and digital arts.

The visual arts building was built in an area that was a former parking lot and some portables, behind the performing arts center that opened in 2019.

With the new building, Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects matched the same architecture as the rest of the campus, featuring fluted brick blocks with a modern touch. All of the roomy art studios include new technology, storage areas and a connection to outdoor instructional spaces—the ceramics classroom will also receive a new kiln and outdoor spraying stations.

Ralf Bernard, the district’s construction projects manager, said the classrooms are still a work in progress as finishing touches like specialized, flexible furniture is on the way.

The new digital arts classroom at Torrey Pines.
(Karen Billing)

Last summer, the school’s former black box theater building officially transformed into the new I-building and Falcon Eatery with a food service area, dining spaces and room for student lines to move efficiently through at lunchtime. Bernard said the “I” stands for innovation as the building includes the fully loaded auto shop, CAD/computer lab and the newly outfitted maker space.

The new maker space at Torrey Pines.
(Karen Billing)

This summer the former dance room was converted into the spacious maker’s space filled with all new equipment like lathes, welding stations and manual mills. The space supports the woodworking and engineering programs in the school’s Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways, where students build professional skills through project-based learning. New equipment includes a plasma cutter, hydraulic shear and a state-of-the-art Haas mill that took a whole crew to set up over the summer.

New landscaping was planted around both the new visual arts building and the I building.

At Torrey Pines, work has begun on a major athletics improvement project. The phase currently under construction includes girls softball field (new bleachers, backstops and scoreboards), the resurfacing of the tennis courts, new synthetic turf on the multi-purpose fields and Americans with Disability Act-required improvements to the pathway that leads to the home team side of the football stadium.

Next year, the second phase will include the modernization of the locker rooms and the addition of new team rooms in the gym. Plans for phase three include the district’s first pool.

Landscaping along the "innovation" building on campus, looking toward the new visual arts building.
(Karen Billing)