Sonoma Academy, an independent college preparatory high school in Sonoma County, plans to break ground soon on the first phase of a transformational and significant expansion of faciliies on its 34-acre campus.
The $26 million, 22,000 square-foot project, known as the Grange and Studios, will add space for dining, commercial and teaching kitchens, and maker’s studio classrooms among other facilities, with a broad, open dining terrace that will serve as the heart of the campus.
“The Grange program addresses the community’s need to break bread together and to teach students about food systems and their relationship to our economy and environment,” said Head of School Janet Durgin.
The building is designed to exceed Platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification, and meet net-zero-energy efficiency standards. It will have a vegetation-covered “living roof,” graywater recycling and other key sustainability features. Additionally, the school’s garden spaces will be expanded to help supply food for the new Grange.
Funding for the project has been provided entirely through private donations.
“The studios program allows students to address real-world, hands-on design challenges in a suite of studios where they can put engineering and fabrication ideas into practice,” Durgin said.
The studios will provide space for traditional shop and visual arts classes, while also creating environments for students to explore film and video production and broadcast, engineering and robotics, and computer graphics and animation. New space for student services as well as a separate building for maintenance facilities are also included in the project.
The two-level design includes indoor and outdoor dining and gathering spaces. The top floor will have two kitchens, one for foodservice and one for teaching; an open plaza with new green space; a flower and herb garden; and fruit trees on the upper level. On the lower level will be studio and shop space, technology rooms, offices and meeting space.
Phase 2 of the campus expansion is a new 450-seat performing arts theater and conservatory. That will require additional fundraising, the school said.
The architecture firm for the project is WRNS Studio of San Francisco. The general contractor is XL Construction of San Francisco, Milpitas and Sacramento.
Sonoma Academy expansion
2500 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa
Phase 1: Grange and Studios
Size: 22,000 square feet on two levels
Cost: $26 million
Architecture: WRNS Studio, San Francisco
Contractor: XL Construction, San Francisco, Milpitas and Sacramento
Phase 2: 450-seat performing arts theater and conservatory
Timetable: Fundraising is needed