SuValley Jr/Sr. High School

Updated: July 2015


c copyright 2004-18

all rights reserved.

BrainSpaces, Inc.

856 N. Fairfield Avenue, Suite #1

Chicago, IL  60622

Ph:  773.531.3221


Matanuska-Susitna Valley Borough School District, Sunshine, Alaska

In association with McCool Carlson Green Architects

Su Valley is the first high school in the state of Alaska to receive the US Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification and was the Northern most LEED certified school in the country, at the time of certification.

Following the destruction of the old school by fire, the planning team crafted a new school that honors the independent artistic spirit of a community that is grounded in the wild landscape of Alaska. Reduction in dedicated corridors and creating agile spaces that can be combined or separated meets community needs without enlarging the school. The welcoming entry where lobby, library, multipurpose room, stage and music rooms flow together creates a flexible, multifunction environment.

The Media Center Café is the physical and educational heart of the school.  A far cry from the staid and quiet libraries of the past, this open and inviting space is a hub of activity.  Connecting with the main school lobby and the school commons, the media center café forms a dynamic interaction space where students can socialize, eat, study and learn.  Features include open bar-height seating which students have dubbed “the knowledge bar”. Sliding grilles provide security during after-hours events.  Nature-inspired artwork is integral to the space reinforcing the community’s focus on Alaskan outdoor activities.


Size:  51,000 sf

Cost:  $17.85M

Opened in 2010


James D. MacConnell Award Finalist