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Robert Down Elementary Lunch Area
Robert H. Down Elementary School, founded in 1891, is located in Pacific Grove nestled in a residential neighborhood, but close to the downtown core. It serves grades K through 5, with an approximate student population of 500 students.
Based on the results of the Landscape Master Plan created for the school, a priority area for development was determined to be the Lunch Area and Playground. The current lunch area faced many issues: it was not large enough; the decomposed granite surface eroded, is was hard to clean, and acted as an unstable surface for the picnic tables; the site was not accessible; picnic tables were in need of replacement; seagulls were a nuisance stealing food and harming kids. In addition, the adjacent play area needed updated play equipment, needed to be a larger area, and needed to be accessible.
These issues were solved by creating a level, accessible surface for all students eating lunch. A future overhead shade structure will deter seagulls and provide shelter for students. As a result of the design, the space has become flexible enough to host a variety of outdoor events, fundraisers, and student performances.