The BUHSD Learning Center brings together several unique educational programs on one campus. In one wing, this state-of-the-art facility serves children with special needs by partnering with the finest providers of specialized services. In the other wing, students can pursue independent learning through alternative education options. The design of the facility seeks to blend these two distinct functions. Inspired by the remains of a nearby airfield, the design of the new Buckeye Union High School District Learning Center (Est. 8/3/11) begins at the apex of a drainage berm created to protect the airfield. This berm is the dominant feature of the site, and a metaphor of protection helps to organize the design of both the site and the building. The building and its courtyards provide a zone of protection for the students, creating a safe place where they can be nurtured and challenged. Likewise, many of the building forms are inspired by the act of flight, especially in relation to take-off, the moment which connection to the ground is relinquished and the freedom of the air is embraced. The BUHSD Learning Center aspires to provide a place where students can prepare for the freedom of independence that awaits them upon graduation.