Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park is in the process of constructing a new Theater, Academics and Gymnasium, or “TAG”, building. The multiple-year project is expected to be complete by the spring semester of the 2018/2019 school year and both students and staff alike are excited for this new learning space.
“We are so proud of this new addition for our students to learn, perform and compete in a safe and modern facility,” says Amie Carter, Principal of Rancho Cotate High School.
The new, approximately 75,000 square foot venue, will provide a performing center for actors and musicians, six high-tech classrooms for computer science and digital arts and a multiple court gym for physical education and sporting events, a dance room, modern locker rooms and sports conditioning facilities. It was a necessary addition given the aging and outdated current facilities.
The building will also provide more space to accommodate the expanding student body that is expected to increase given the multiple housing projects currently underway in the surrounding area. The TAG building will accommodate about 500 students at a time. Currently about 1,500 students attend Rancho Cotate.
“The existing gymnasium has outlasted its usefulness, and this building is essential to meet the growing needs of our students,” says Carter. “There was significant teacher input to the design and we consider this building part of the enterprising and innovative academic work that Rancho Cotate High School is engaged in, as we prepare students for their futures.”
Besides creating an innovative and modern new learning space, school staff and administrators are also hoping to use the construction of the building as an opportunity for students to see first-hand the application of learning to the real-world environment. The school is planning on incorporating construction into many of its courses, including construction technology, woodworking, engineering, chemistry, physics and mathematics.
WLC Architects designed the building, and Santa Rosa-based Wright Contracting Incorporated was retained to manage the construction.
“Wright construction has been an incredible partner to work with,” says Carter. “They have been responsive to our needs and kept the impact to our campus a minimum. I have no complaints.”
The guaranteed maximum price of constructing the TAG building is $48,673,712. Given that this includes contingency the district expects that figure to go down unless they add additional scope. Including other costs such as architect, engineering, testing, inspections and state fees the total project cost stands at $54,000,000. It is largely funded by an $80 million bond, Measure B, which voters passed in 2014 to fund much needed improvements and renovations at several schools in the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District.
“We are profoundly grateful to the citizens of Rohnert Park and Cotati who chose to prioritize the needs of education in this community, and have supported the vital work of updating facilities across the district,” says Carter.