Located in a small northern California city with a population of 90,000, the Redding School of the Arts is the first new school campus in the world to achieve Platinum certification under the LEED for Schools 2009 standards. It was conceived in 2007 as a "tool for teaching green" for the 500 students attending this new K-8 elementary school. With funding provided by a locally based philanthropic foundation and a goal to achieve both LEED Platinum and Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) certification, the 77,000 square foot public charter school has been designed with a balance between traditional design elements and innovative technology concepts. It begins with the siting of the building on a mostly flat five-acre parcel located adjacent to single-family residential development to maintain most of the existing mature oak trees within the new parking and playground. More than half of the school's learning environment has been placed outdoors despite being located in a climate with extreme temperature variations. Construction of site improvements commenced in 2008, with completion of the building and occupancy in August of 2011.