Making a better place to learn
Campus renovation brings a host of improvements
By Bruce Lieberman, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.John Gastaldo / UNION-TRIBUNE
The Rancho Santa Fe School District has big plans for the R. Roger Rowe campus renovation. A multipurpose room under construction will be used as a performing arts center that can seat 300 to 350 people, designed with theater acoustics and a loft for theater performances.Photo by John Gastaldo – UNION-TRIBUNE
The school construction is funded by a $34 million bond measure that voters passed in February 2008 and $3 million left over from a bond measure voters passed in 2004 to renovate the R. Roger Rowe campus.
For more than eight years, educators in Rancho Santa Fe have sought a new public school campus with modernized classrooms and more space.
The school district finally has that place. This fall, a new campus for 700 students in kindergarten through eighth grade will open at the site of the former 52-year-old R. Roger Rowe campus.
The school, completely re-imagined for up to 850 students, is a compact addition to the Rancho Santa Fe Village.
“I think we’ve maximized use of our funds to make a focal point for the community for years to come,” said Lindy Delaney, superintendent of the Rancho Santa Fe School District.
The school is styled after the Spanish colonial architecture that characterizes the area. The campus is dominated by two-story stucco classroom buildings topped with red tile roofs.
The school cost $37 million to build. A total of $2.5 million in construction aid has been held up by the state, requiring a handful of scaled-back plans — at least temporarily. The project has been funded by a $34 million bond measure that voters passed in February 2008, plus $3 million left over from a bond measure voters passed in 2004 to renovate the R. Roger Rowe campus.
San Marcos architect John Trittipo designed the school, but Delaney said the school district worked hard to incorporate suggestions from many people in the Rancho Santa Fe community. Construction began in May 2009.
The front of the campus, facing La Granada, is centered by a two-story administration building, flanked on each side by two-story classroom buildings that include science and technology labs. Directly to the right of the administration building sits the campus library. Second-story walkways connect classroom wings, allowing students to circulate from class to class above ground level.
Courtyards and outdoor amphitheaters, meanwhile, will provide places for students to congregate.
The most prominent structure on campus will likely be the multipurpose room, which is being built to be used also as a performing arts center that seats between 300 and 350 people. Designed with theater acoustics, enhanced lighting and a loft for theater performances, the performing arts center is expected to be a community focal point for musicians, dancers and actors.
While a multipurpose room was budgeted to cost $3.5 million, a community campaign has raised an additional $1 million to outfit it as an arts center. Another $1 million is still needed to complete it, Trittipo said.
As portable classrooms are removed this summer, more space for a new parking lot and blacktop space will be available.
Bruce Lieberman: (760) 476-8205; [email protected]