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Editor’s note: The Business Journal features profiles of North Bay construction projects that are complete or nearly so. Send details to jquackenbush@busjrnl.com or fax to 707-521-5292.

Sonoma Academy

2500 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa

Project size (acreage, square footage, number of buildings): Twenty-three classrooms and 72,000 square feet in three buildings on 34 acres

Completion: December 2008

Enrollment and student capacity: 212, capacity of 310

Architect: BAR Architects, San Francisco

General contractor: James Murphy & Associates, Santa Rosa

Engineering: mechanical – Indoor Environmental Services, Santa Rosa; civil – Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers, Santa Rosa; structural – KPFF Consulting Engineers, San Francisco; soils – RGH Consulting, Santa Rosa

Unique features: outdoor amphitheater, organic teaching garden, art gallery, gymnasium with capacity for 700, black-box theater with seating for 150 and fields for soccer or lacrosse

Cost: $35 million

Funders: Individual donors, including a gift of land from Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke in August 2005 valued at $8.4 million; $33 million in tax-exempt bonds from California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank purchased by AIG and Non-Profit Preferred Funding as well as four trustees

What may look like a large barn on the side of Taylor Mountain in southeast Santa Rosa actually is the new home of Sonoma Academy, a college-preparatory private high school.

After seven years sharing space at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts north of Santa Rosa, the school opened for classes earlier this month.

The intentionally unobtrusive design is part of a focused green-building effort for the campus nestled into the hillside and surrounded by more than 1,000 acres of new open-space land. The design also fits well with the school’s environmental stewardship program.

Some of the environmentally friendly aspects include use of passive heating and cooling from thick concrete walls and portions of the buildings set into the hillside as well as recycling of up to 85 percent of the steel used in construction.

Sonoma Academy was conceived as an extension of Sonoma Country Day School, which has its own campus near Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport. The master plan for Sonoma Academy calls for four more buildings that will house classrooms, a larger theater, music building and student center with a capacity for up to 450 students

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