V. Sue Cleveland High School

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Less than a year after opening its doors, V. Sue Cleveland High School has earned multiple awards for design excellence and was chosen as one of three Finalists for the prestigious MacConnell Award. One jury member praised the building for “The ‘True Campus’ look…while addressing security, energy usage, and the learning environment.” The design stacks identical academic houses on three levels, allowing programs to expand horizontally or vertically. A secure outdoor plaza connects the campus and serves as an outdoor commons.

The design incorporates the latest trends in technology and sustainability. All classrooms take advantage of a wireless network, interactive white boards, overhead projectors, and audio enhancement systems. The building, which has received rave reviews from students and administrators, is anticipating LEED® Gold certification.


4800 Laban Road Northeast
Rio Rancho, New Mexico


Rio Rancho Public Schools

Project Scope

  • New High School
  • 2,350 students
  • 410,848 SF
  • $113,300,000
  • Partner firm: Van H. Gilbert Architects

Select Awards

  • 2010 Finalist – James D. MacConnell Award, CEFPI
  • 2010 Judge’s Choice Award, SP&M Sustainability and Innovation Awards
  • 2010 Project of Distinction, CEFPI Exhibition of School Architecture
  • 2010 Energy Project of the Year – New Mexico Association of Energy Engineers