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El Capitan HS Event Center, Grossmont UHSD
La Mesa, CA
Sycamores and mighty
mountains.
A new event center inspired by an alma mater.
Vaquero pride.
The Grossmont Union High School District entrusted HED with the development and design of an iconic, multifunctional new event center. Sited on the El Capitan High School campus, the design needed to meet four primary goals: represent the cultural heritage of EL Capitan High School; incorporate indoor and outdoor areas; provide students with a unique learning experience; and integrate into the existing on-campus architecture.

To achieve these goals, we began by dividing the complex into two buildings, establishing a dramatic, focal entrance and creating connected outdoor spaces. Inspired by the campus and by El Capitan’s alma mater, we designed the structure to reference the lines and angles of the region’s mountains and horizons. We also included the school’s famed sycamores in the landscaping, grounding the new structure in the surrounding environment.

Inside, the event center includes a flat floor with retractable seating to accommodate dramatic productions, band performances, gallery shows, testing and banquets. The 15,886 square foot complex also includes a lobby, concessions, band room, practice rooms, dance studio, drama classroom and restroom facilities.

The resulting structure is a focal point and for the El Capitan campus— a warm, inviting gathering place that proudly reflects the school’s cultural heritage and welcomes the surrounding community.
HED really took the time to thoroughly get to know and embrace our campus culture. The fact that the architect and several of our contractors are alumni of the school meant there was an immediate attachment to the project. There are components of the design that probably would not have been conceived of without this existing relationship to the school. We love it!”
Dena Johnson
Project Planning Manager
Grossmont UHSD
A new event center inspired by an alma mater.
El Capitan HS Event Center, Grossmont UHSD
La Mesa, CA
Sycamores and mighty
mountains.
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