Walsh Engineers was in charge of the mechanical and plumbing tenant improvement design and transformation of a long vacant and dilapidated former convalescent hospital into a vibrant place of learning for the Albert Einstein Academies Charter Middle School. The 38,000 square feet, 4-story building containing 20 daylight-filled classroom spaces along with a variety of support spaces that included specialty labs, offices, and informal gathering areas. The state-of-the-art renovations was completed within 9 months for a construction cost of 3.6 million. The project has been submitted for Silver level certification under the LEED for Schools program and also participates in the San Diego Gas & Electric Savings by Design program. The design is inherently sustainable by virtue of the reuse of an existing structure. The thermal performance of the building envelope was improved with additional insulation and new, energy efficient, operable windows. New, highly-efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were installed to exceed current codes and reduce long term operating expenses. The site challenges included a 20-feet elevation drop between the building and the upper and lower parking areas to the west. The former lower parking lot was transformed into multi-purpose sports courts. A new ramp, stair, and crosswalk were added to allow students to safely move from the school to the recreation area. The lower lot incorporates an on-site drop-off loop in addition to the required parking. The project was submitted and approved through the City of San Diego, Development Services.