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A charter high school breaks ground in L.A.’s Koreatown

School Construction

A charter high school breaks ground in L.A.’s Koreatown

The $40 million project will serve about 600 students with almost 88K square feet on three floors and a courtyard.

By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | June 20, 2022
RISE High School ext 1
Courtesy Berliner Architects.

A new charter school has broken ground in Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood. Operated by Bright Star Schools and designed by L.A. firm Berliner Architects, Rise Kohyang High School (RKHS) will serve about 600 students in grades 9 to 12 and is slated to open in the fall of 2023.

With almost 88,000 square feet, the $40 million high school is an L-shaped, three-story building with a central courtyard. The outdoor space can be accessed via the ground-level multipurpose room/lunch area and school offices. On opposite ends of the building, two stairways lead to the second floor, providing access to 24 classrooms on two levels, a library/media room, and additional staff areas. Offices are placed on all three floors to provide student supervision and facilitate collaboration among administrative staff and teachers. A second-floor balcony overlooks the courtyard.

Around the campus perimeter, fencing both creates a secure enclosure and gives students a visual connection to the outside. The fence also features the school’s name in a mix of English and Korean, a nod to the school’s community.

“Space is sparse and expensive in Los Angeles,” Richard Berliner, principal of Berliner Architects, said in a statement. “Our primary challenge was accommodating RKHS students, faculty, and staff while programming an outdoor space on an extraordinarily small, 1.2-acre site. We designed the courtyard to act as the school’s main entryway and took advantage of the naturally sloping campus topography to integrate a partially subterranean ground level for parking and student drop-off.”

The project meets design guidelines from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) for reduced energy consumption and increased sustainability. Green features promote water conservation, energy efficiency, greenhouse-gas emission reduction, and indoor environmental quality. Skylights, louvered sun blades, and roller-type window shades balance natural light and solar heat gain.

Berliner Architects is also designing the $35 million Rise Kohyang Middle School, located about two miles from RKHS. 

Building Team:

Owner and/or developer: Bright Star Schools 

Design architect: Berliner Architects 

Architect of record: Berliner Architects 

MEP engineer: Budlong and Associates

Structural engineer: Saiful Bouquet Structural Engineers 

General contractor/construction manager: Bernards 

RISE High School ext 2
Courtesy Berliner Architects.
RISE High School balcony ext 3
Courtesy Berliner Architects.


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