New Homestead High Addition Improves Connectivity

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Students, staff, district officials, parents and project team members gathered last month for the unveiling of Homestead High School’s new student quad in Cupertino. The ribbon-cutting event offered those gathered a first glimpse at the new quad, which includes a cafeteria building, three new science classrooms and repurposed outdoor spaces.

Designed by Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) of Santa Rosa, Calif., the new quad will serve as a central connection for student activity. The 17,000-square-foot space significantly modernizes the school campus, and remedies numerous visual barriers and accessibility issues that previously existed. It provides ample outdoor seating areas, a sloping artificial turf for student gathering, and informal amphitheater seating and a raised platform for student performances and presentations.

Meanwhile, the new cafeteria building — which replaced an older building that was demolished — comprises a café, food court and kitchen facilities, all contained beneath a lofty ceiling. A fully glazed wall with roll up doors and clerestory windows connects the dining space to the quad, giving it a more open and inviting character than the previous dining and servery space offered.

The cafeteria also has the potential to serve multiple uses. For example, the high ceilings provide an ideal indoor practice space for the school’s cheerleading, drill and flag teams. From an academic perspective, the three new science classrooms and prep spaces will accommodate growing enrollment in the school’s award-winning programs.

“We couldn’t be more excited about this new highly-functional and beautiful space we have for our students at Homestead to utilize,” said Fremont Union High School District Communications Coordinator Sue Larson in a statement. “We already have top-notch programs and educators and now have the facilities to match. We thank the entire project team for their creative, inspiring and dedicated work.”

“QKA has enjoyed a great relationship with FUHSD over the past few years, including the opening of the new Student Union at Cupertino High School in 2014, and it’s a fun opportunity for us to design spaces for the tech-minded Silicon Valley community,” said QKA Principal Mark Quattrocchi in a statement. “Similar to Cupertino, with this project for Homestead we wanted to mirror the open, collaborative environments of many of the office campuses in the area. I think we were successful and I look forward to seeing the students enjoy the space.”

Construction on the approximately $10 million quad building used a strong structural grid system; keeping costs low and concentrating funds on areas that will most impact the student experience. For instance, increasing daylighting through optimal window design was a particular focus of the project, reducing the need for artificial lighting in most spaces.

The project was funded by a $198 million modernization bond program that passed in June 2008, and is part of the district’s Implementation Master Plan. This bond also provided for improvement, expansion and sustainability projects at four other local high schools.

The project team included general contractor Lathrop Construction Associates Inc. of Benicia, Calif., program manager Kitchell of Phoenix and landscape architect Carducci & Associates Inc. of San Francisco.