More Than A School: A Shared Vision for a Rural Community

Room: E143-144

Audience: Architects

Call to Action: Weave the social and cultural aspects of a project’s locale into your design process. Dream big about community impact: understand how your project can create opportunity for those it serves.

Abstract: A once in a lifetime opportunity: designing a school and community hub on Navajo Nation, which will serve the rural area for generations. Lukachukai Community School became much more than a building, despite the fast-track schedule and remoteness—thanks to a collective vision between designer, contractor, owner, and the community itself. This session delves into strategic workarounds for rural design challenges and shines a light on often-overlooked opportunities go above and beyond for a community’s unique needs. Topics include: communicating design possibilities, managing lead times, designing within BIA guidelines, feasibility + maintainability, school as a community hub, and creating safe places that harmonize between long-standing tradition and forward-thinking design. Video link »

Learning Objectives:

  1. Include weaving the social and cultural aspects of a project’s locale into your design process, dreaming big about a project’s impact on its community, overcoming rural constructability challenges, and breaking down barriers that prevent students from accessing a quality education. These objectives address project design and planning, project development and documentation, and construction and evaluation.
Sanjay Kadu
Sanjay Kadu
Chief Design Officer, Principal, Architect, Dekker Perich Sabatini

For over 15 years, Sanjay has focused entirely on the advancement of educational facilities. He has designed a number of award-winning schools and is an expert in facility and campus replacement projects, which transform older, scattered campuses into state-of-the-art consolidated campuses that meet current educational needs. Sanjay’s primary concern is ensuring flexibility and functionality to support learning today and for generations to come. Sanjay has presented at multiple regional and national A4LE conferences. He is well informed with specific education goals focused on by A4LE conference presentations.

Kristin Ianus, LEED AP
Kristin Ianus, LEED AP
Design Manager, Architect, Dekker Perich Sabatini

In her role as Design Manager and Senior Architect, Kristin has shaped a collaborative design process that integrates community feedback, inspires dynamic concepts, applies building performance analyses, and elevates sustainable design guidelines. She has 15 years of design experience and is specialized in the design of K-12 schools. By listening to client needs, she provides customized service and unique designs which are sensitive to local context. She understands that paying attention to detail can add value and efficiency to a project.

Lukachukai Community School Representative
Lukachukai Community School Representative   

We will be reaching out to Lukachukai Community School to engage them in this presentation to provide the user experience.

Core Competency

Design of Educational Facilities
Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

LearningSCAPES 2024 Conference in Portland, Oregon


Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97232


October 16-19, 2024


+1 480.391.0840