Normandie Elementary School

Normandie Elementary School

Through the state-funded Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools (DROPS), Normandie Avenue Elementary School was one of the five Los Angeles Unified School District schools awarded a grant for low-impact development projects to be implemented over a 3-year period.

The California State Water Resources Control Board initiated DROPS to focus on projects that address stormwater pollution and improve water quality, conserve water, augment water supply, reduce greenhouse gases, save energy, and increase awareness of water sustainability at schools. The low-impact development projects not only work to accomplish the stormwater management goals of the school but also utilize outdoor classrooms and learning laboratories that incorporate into curriculum and activities to create experiences that go beyond the classroom walls. Throughout the entire design and construction process, students played an active part as this project truly became one for the kids and by the kids.

Located in South Central Los Angeles, Normandie Avenue Elementary serves over 900 students in a disadvantaged community.
Addressing low permeability and ongoing drainage issues, numerous upgrades to the schoolgrounds included:

  • New turf soccer field with fencing and parking to share with the community
  • Safe path for special needs kids allows for a greater sense of safety
  • 58,200 sf of solar-reflective playground surface
  • 7,200 sf of bioswales and water capture
  • 16,725 sf of turf and asphalt removal converted to drought-tolerant planting
  • 26 new large trees that filter for urban pollutants and fine particulates
  • 9,930 sf of permeable vehicular/pedestrian paving
  • 4 rain cisterns with a 6,900 gal. total capacity for water collection


Los Angeles Unified School District


6.12 acres


Los Angeles, CA



Project team

  • Barbara Hall P.E. Civil Engineer
  • PBWS Architects Architect