Construction Continues at California School Following Wildfire

By Lisa Kopochinski

SANTA ROSA, Calif.—With a completion date slated for September 2021, construction continues anew on the 24,000-square-foot classroom facility at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Several months ago, ground was broken on a two-story building that will provide much needed classroom space for expanded educational offerings and curriculum. The building will enable the school to remove existing temporary portable learning spaces.

This project was made possible after the school embarked on a $38 million capital campaign to pay for the campus improvements in the aftermath of a wildfire in October 2017 that destroyed more than a third of the campus.

The new addition will encompass 18 classrooms, an art studio, four student collaboration rooms and two staff collaboration rooms. They will surround a central courtyard and be supplemented by outdoor learning spaces.

Sustainable design elements—energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, solar shading, operable windows, daylighting, and sustainably sourced materials—have been central to the complex’s design. The surrounding landscaping will be drought-tolerant and include systems for storm water retention.

Wright Contracting is the general contractor on this impressive project. Quattrocchi Kwok Architects is the architecture firm.

“It’s incredible to see the next piece of this campus’ transformation begin to unfold as Cardinal Newman continues to expand the facilities needed to keep pace with its vision for educational excellence,” said QKA Principal John Dybczak, in a statement.

“Designing this classroom complex was a collaborative effort between the school, project team, and the community that so faithfully supports these students. Designing flexible, contemporary classroom spaces that support student health could not be more paramount than it is in this historical moment.”

Added Cardinal Newman Interim President and Superintendent Linda Norman, “Intended to rebuild needed classroom space following the devastation and delayed by a global pandemic, this project symbolizes the resilience of our school and community in many ways. We have been thankful to have such a flexible and engaged project team and a generous donor community supporting our vision as it comes to life.”