Healdsburg Unified School District Unveils Transformed Junior High Campus at Grand Opening Celebration

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Healdsburg Unified School District Unveils Transformed Junior High Campus at Grand Opening Celebration

09/24/15

  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  • Ceremony in the Quad
  • Principal Halliday and Superintendent Vanden Heuvel
  • Modernized classroom

Quattrocchi Kwok Architects-Designed Project Unifies Campus and Adds Classrooms to Support District’s Inquiry-Based Learning Curriculum

HEALDSBURG, Calif., Sept. 24, 2015 – On Wednesday, Sept. 23, Healdsburg Unified School District (HUSD) officials and staff, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA), Lathrop Construction Associates, students, parents and community members gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate Healdsburg Junior High’s (HJH) campus renovation and new construction project. Welcoming the school’s about 380 sixth through eighth grade students for the 2015-16 school year on Aug. 19, the project includes three modernized buildings, several brand new buildings, including five general education classrooms and two science classrooms, and a new quad and central gathering area.

Designed by QKA to help facilitate HUSD’s plan to implement 21st century learning concepts district-wide, including inquiry-based curriculums, QKA modeled new and renovated teaching spaces as “Learning Suites” instead of traditional self-contained classrooms. Providing flexibility for differentiated learning, including large and small group work, each Learning Suite is made up of two classroom-sized spaces connected with a folding glass wall, a breakout space for smaller collaborative work and physical and visual access to an outdoor learning area. Of particular note to the newly opened campus, a public street that long separated the school’s teaching spaces has now been permanently closed and redesigned as a new quad, visually reconnecting the school along with removing a physical barrier and under-utilized portable classrooms. Included in the new quad is a large outdoor gathering space for presentations, small groups and informal student gathering at breaks.

“It has been a highly rewarding experience working with HUSD from the creation of a district-wide plan to implement a pedagogy that supports the skills our students need to succeed in today’s educational environment and beyond, to designing a facility to make this possible, and all the way through to celebrating the opening of the final product at the junior high,” said QKA Principal Mark Quattrocchi. “We look forward to our continued work at the high school, and even further down the road, to seeing the students enter the world with skills perpetuated by the facilities we helped come to life.”

The students at HJH will benefit from abundant technological upgrades to the school in support of a curriculum emphasizing college and career readiness. Technology infrastructure includes large flat screen monitors for presentations, allowing instructors the opportunity to share information with their classes via tablets and laptops, and wired and wireless data access throughout the campus, including for outdoor learning environments. With an emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency, large walls of windows throughout the buildings were used to increase daylighting.

“In every decision that we make for our students, our goal is to work to achieve our mission in preparing them for high school, college, career and citizenship. Moving to a new inquiry-based curriculum model where students are effectively pursuing their own learning path is a huge step in this direction, and making sure we have the facilities to support this mission is critical,” said HUSD Superintendent Chris Vanden Heuvel. “QKA understood our vision and needs for a new, transformed campus and learning environment and we are beyond pleased with the outcome. Our students are set up to thrive in this environment.”

The $13.3 million modernization and new construction project was delivered in two phases and funded by a general obligation bond approved by Healdsburg voters in 2012. In addition to the extensive changes to HJH’s campus, HUSD and QKA are currently working on a significant transformation project at Healdsburg High School, including a new science lab and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) building.

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