Quattrocchi Kwok Architects Complete Renovation at Sonoma County's First STEM Elementary School


Quattrocchi Kwok Architects Complete Renovation at Sonoma County's First STEM Elementary School


  • Ribbon Cutting
  • School Principal Michele Crncich Hodge and Superintendent Jason Lustig Yamashiro
  • New classroom interior
  • Students view partial solar eclipse

Petaluma's La Tercera Elementary School Celebrates Grand Opening of Schoolwide Upgrades

PETALUMA, Calif., Nov. 10, 2014 - Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) and the Old Adobe Union School District celebrated the grand opening of schoolwide renovations to Petaluma’s 42-year-old La Tercera Elementary School. The QKA-designed upgrades support the school’s transformation as the first Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-focused elementary school in Sonoma County.

“Last year, we completed and saw the opening of Piner High School’s Geospatial Science Center, including an observatory, planetarium and computer lab. Coupled with the renovations to La Tercera that will enable and support STEM-focused learning, it is really exciting to see Sonoma County at the forefront of this educational movement,” said QKA Principal Mark Quattrocchi. “This is always the end goal for us – designing innovative spaces that will inspire and nurture our students, helping them prepare for the rest of their education and eventual careers.”

The $6 million project, which was completed entirely over the summer, includes the redesigning and expansion of 22 classrooms to allow more room and reconfigured spaces for collaboration, as well as a new HVAC system, dual pane windows and new interior and exterior finishes throughout the campus. Renovations for the 340-student school were paid for by a bond measure passed by the district in 2012. A celebratory event on Oct. 23 included a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, speeches from district officials, including La Tercera Principal Michele Crncich Hodge and Superintendent Dr. Jason Lustig Yamashiro, school tours, and, in keeping with the school’s STEM concentration, a viewing of the partial solar eclipse that occurred that day.

“We are so proud of all the effort – from planning to execution – to give our school the beautiful and accommodating upgrades it needed,” said La Tercera Principal Michele Crncich Hodge. “Through the new classroom designs and STEM-focused curriculum, our students will now be able to learn through doing and creating, challenging them to explore all the opportunities available in these critical fields.”

Recognizing that careers in the STEM fields are in the fastest growing job sector and the importance of engaging students’ interest in these areas early in their education, La Tercera utilized Kristina Corbett, a teacher on special assignment at the school, to research and apply for grants that would make this curriculum change possible. In 2013, the school received two grants that allowed it to purchase the curriculum model they have now fully integrated into instruction, as well as to train teachers and send representatives to a STEM conference in Washington, D.C. La Tercera’s Pearson’s Project STEM is a project based learning curriculum that infuses reading, writing and math practice with scientific inquiry and the engineering design process.

In addition to QKA, the project team included Alten Construction, Greystone West Construction Management, ZFA Structural Engineers, Brelje & Race Civil Engineers, O’Mahony & Myer Electrical Engineers and Carducci & Associates Landscape Architects.


About Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

Santa Rosa-based Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) provides comprehensive master planning, design and construction administration services for Northern California K-12 and higher education, historic renovation and community facilities. With more than $1.2 billion in projects completed in the company’s more than 25-year history, QKA’s award-winning portfolio reflects a commitment to design that emphasizes environmental sustainability and community impact. Recent projects include the new American Canyon High School, which is heralded as the “greenest school in America” and has achieved the highest score of a California school to date from the Collaborative for High Performance School (CHPS) verified program. Visit: www.qka.com.


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