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September 17, 2019
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RCHS Mascot at Welcome Back Rally Police and housing topics discussed at Council Credo ladies in Trashion show Cotati Council makes it short Man takes own life PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program distributes first checks to victims  Home invasion robbery, suspects still at large SOMO Village overrun by CHP party Latino Alliance promotes first festival Special education funding complicated Keeping California history alive RP man sentenced to prison 23 years for robbery Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Homelessness spikes in RP Home delivery changes Former Rancho student convicted Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board 73rd Miss Sonoma County competition held at Spreckels Straus Family Creamery moving to RP TAG building grand opening RP Foundation to reinstate Small Grants Program Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” RP Downtown project underway Schools, facilities and bonds: Plans but no money DUI driver crashes into 7-1 Teen arrested for shooting at RP RP votes to restrict fireworks Three arrested; stolen items recovered Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member 2018 local stories which made history ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Holocaust piano now in Cotati CRPUSD seeking a new superintendent Superintendent search begins Cotati Council moves ahead Planning Commission approves hotel In memory of Greg Beedon Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Rohnert Park Station Ave. update Cuts suggested for school district The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County Cotati memorializes victims Rohnert Park considers firework restrictions CHP to check motorcycle safety in local area Cotati honors and appreciates Winners of “Discovered: Emerging artists of Sonoma County” Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats Help save lives by donating blood New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Fencing in Sonoma County School district leaders tackle 1.9m deficit School district seeking new superintendent Cotati protests CASA compact School district balances budget More high density in Rohnert Park Put down your phone April is distracted driving awareness month SSU Police make arrest in sexual assault case CRPUSD district’s good news in May Cannabis cultivation and more projects The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud  SC public safety heroes of the year Don’t drive with an open container Traffic concerns top RP survey SSU Equestrian looks to go national Brace yourself for mosquitos Station Avenue project An offer has been made and accepted on Rohnert Park’s corporate yard SMART to offer free rides... 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Grand Jury recommends improvements for So. Co. Water City of Cotati switches to 100% renewable electricity I’m ready, bring ‘em on! Tech High School celebrates 20 years PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program accepting applications for aid Cardinals rout Cougars SSI and SSP recipients eligible for CalFresh benefits Five vehicle crash shuts down Golf Course Dr. Happenings at Cotati City Council Trades Intro Program (TIP) leads to career RP City Council: from safety to striping Girls explore STEM possibilities at Tinker Academy Spring Lake Water Bark kickoff How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary New fire station gets final direction Undercover operation identifies prostitution at local massage parlors Red flags fly at all fire stations during “Red Flag” warnings L J principal promises open door policy DUI driver arrested after collision on RP Exp Contact information needed from about 150,000 PG&E customers Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Cotati fills Planning Commission The long summer grinds Alert resident foiled attempted burglary of neighbor’s home All about the roads Third DUI driver arrested in RP in three days Santa Rosa doctor overprescribing Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life School district set to begin new year Wrong way bicyclist rides into path of SMART train City, county reach agreement with Homeless Advocates Our words are not enough: Educators call for action First day of school and new friends Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery Rohnert Park residents awarded law degrees School Year 2019-2020 for free and reduced-price meals Cattle drive comes to SR Man dies in custody Home-based learning on the rise SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Joint Legislative Wine Committee to meet at SSU Ca. 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Technology High School construction on schedule

  • The view from the campus entrance of the new and soon to be completed Technology High courtyard on grounds of Waldo Rohnert. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
June 28, 2019

With less than forty business days until school starts, crews are working diligently to finish transforming the old Waldo Rohnert Elementary School on Bonnie Avenue into Technology High School’s new campus. While much work still needs to be done, one can already see the new classrooms, lab spaces, offices and outdoor spaces taking shape.

“The thought that the architect, contractor and Josh Savage [Executive Director of Facilities, Maintenance and Operations for the Rohnert Park Cotati Unified School District] have put into doing this is so delightful,” says Dawn Mawhinney, Principal of Technology High School. “Josh always puts students’ needs first. He and the architect held focus groups with students and teachers on the design and features to find out what the students really desired and what the teachers needed.”

At Tech High’s old location in Salazar Hall on the Sonoma State University campus, space was limited in the 12 dark, sometimes window-less classrooms, the machine shop was tiny, and the only area for students to congregate was in the hallways. The new campus will sport 14 large classrooms with a lot of natural light with two large science labs, as well as two shops – one for electronics, soldering and robotics-type work, and the other for mechanical and woodshop purposes. In addition, the site offers a large multi-use space with a theater stage, a plethora of outdoor space with seat walls for students to gather, an ASB space with student store, larger offices for the staff and a staff room, a computer room and a student center. 

“We had such a small community being in one hallway,” says Mawhinney. “What I like is the idea that we can still have that connection here. We’re still small enough but the students have space to be who they are and do their activities during their unstructured time, but we’re not losing that sense of community.”

Beyond just converting a space meant for elementary school children to one that is efficient for high school students, almost all the buildings, which were built in 1972, had to be completely reconstructed, part of the reason for the large $20 million price tag.

“Everything has been replaced here,” says Jesse Smart, Superintendent for Wright Contracting, the construction company managing the project. “It was all outdated. The whole water system had to be replaced. We took everything down to the studs. Every piece of concrete has been removed to comply to ADA standards, fire suppression systems installed, new roofs, etc.”

The concern from the surrounding community regarding parking has been mitigated with two new large parking areas built that replaced old unused space and playground equipment that will not be necessary for the high school. The number of parking spaces is now above the ratio required for a high school of this size, which for Technology High School is less than 350 students. 

“I think they [the neighbors] will be pleasantly surprised at how delightful our students are,” says Mawhinney. “The students are going to have plenty of parking over here and they’re responsible kids.”

According to Smart, even with major rain delays from our wet spring, construction is still on track to be finished on time, other than a few remaining projects. This “increment three” phase includes an office for physical education staff, locker rooms, final landscaping and an outdoor volleyball court. These last remaining items do not impede school from starting and should be completed by October. 

At the time of this writing, it is still unknown whether the school board will retain any part of the Waldo name for the new Technology High School campus. 

“I know that names are incredibly important for a community,” says Mawhinney. “To dishonor any member of our community would never be a goal of ours. We want to honor the community and honor the neighbors.”

The school plans to host an open house on August 9 for students and the community-at-large to come check out the new campus and take a tour.