Northern California Prep School Continues Rebound from Fires

By Eric Althoff

SANTA ROSA, Calif.—The Tubbs Fire of 2017 wrought severe destruction to the Sonoma Valley, destroying not only vineries but also local buildings and school facilities. Cardinal Newman High School is rising from the ashes, adding a new two-story classroom that will be the school’s single largest building project since the fires. The building was designed by Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) and Bisbee Architecture + Design. Wright Contracting is overseeing construction duties for the new building.

The 24,000-square-foot complex offers an art studio, a quartet of student collaboration rooms as well as 18 classrooms, many of which will be dedicated to courses not previously offered at Cardinal Newman. Designed by QKA to be sustainable, the new building features such elements as energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems as well as low-flow plumbing fixtures.

“The opening of this classroom complex marks significant progress in Cardinal Newman’s overall facilities master plan and reveals enduring commitment by administration, faculty and the community to provide students healthy, flexible and well-equipped spaces to learn,” QKA Principal John Dybczak said of the work. “It’s been an honor to guide this collaborative effort and to see our passion for next-generation learning environments support the school’s educational vision and the healing of our community.”

“Celebrating the completion of this striking campus addition contributed to the renewed hope and excitement this school year has brought,” added Cardinal Newman President and Interim Superintendent Linda Norman said of the expansion. “We extend our gratitude to our generous and supportive donor community and to our local project partners who remained flexible amidst the backdrop of the past year—and who share our enthusiasm for seeing students regain a sense of normalcy after so many challenges. We are thrilled to watch students and faculty take full advantage of the resources this modern space provides.”

Cardinal Newman also added the North Classroom Building in 2019 and has since broken ground on a library and new Student Life Center.