News

Portola Valley school district shares new classroom designs

Classrooms will be funded by $49.5 million bond measure

Parents, community members and administrators gathered at Ormondale School on Nov. 5 to view mock-ups of schematic design plans for changes to the Portola Valley School District's two schools. The new classroom construction will be funded by the $49.5 million Measure Z bond, which voters passed last November to fund school repairs and renovations. A new two-story classroom building at Corte Madera School is estimated to cost between $38.4 million and $42.5 million. At Ormondale School, projects costing $10.9 million to $12 million are included as first-phase priorities.

Construction is slated to begin in spring 2021, according to district officials. The design of the buildings will aesthetically match the surrounding residential neighborhoods, with gabled roofs, large clear windows and lots of natural light, said Brent McClure, principal at CAW Architects, which is designing the new classrooms.

Teachers will be able to mix indoor and outdoor learning on the newly designed campuses, directly connecting students with nature, he said. Classrooms will be organized around a central atrium at Corte Madera, the district's 4-8 school, and workers will build a deck which will overlook the Frog Pond. The deck could be used for lessons on the watershed and seasons, as well as bird watching, McClure said. Superintendent Roberta Zarea noted that the Frog Pond is not currently used as part of classroom lessons.

District officials want the new buildings to be "highly sustainable" and have solar panels, McClure said. CAW will determine in the next couple of months how close the new buildings will be to attaining net zero energy waste, he said. Net zero energy waste buildings are operated to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, or recover solid waste streams, which results in zero waste disposal, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Many of the classrooms at Corte Madera will connect to one another to allow for large group gatherings, and they will have large windows, McClure said. These features aid 21st-century learning, which includes team teaching, both indoor and outdoor activities, and large meeting spaces. The new campus configuration will open up views of Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, he said.

Community members told the district they want to incorporate the surrounding open space into Corte Madera's new design, McClure said. This helped shape the design of the school, he said.

A gardening program at Ormondale, the district's K-3 school, helped shape part of the campus' new design, he said. The campus will feature a greenhouse and offer therapy centered on playing with plants.

District officials expect construction workers to complete work on the new classrooms in January 2023.

The Nov. 5 event was one of two recent open houses to exhibit diagrams of new campus designs. Designs will be completed around February or March, Zarea said.

Go here to view the designs.

---

• Sign up for Almanac Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or show your support for local journalism by subscribing.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

6 people like this
Posted by 2Much
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Dec 3, 2019 at 9:42 am

Don't spend it all at once.
Enrollment is declining and tax payers are getting tired of your never ending bond measures.
Should have some better oversight as well.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


All your news. All in one place. Every day.

What gives you hope?
By Sherry Listgarten | 22 comments | 3,583 views

Shake Shack to open doors at San Mateo's Hillsdale Shopping Center this weekend
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 1,511 views

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 603 views

Premarital and Couples: What feeling is not allowed, and what do you use in its place?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 531 views

 

The holidays are here!

From live music to a visit with Santa, here's a look at some local holiday activities to help you get into the spirit of the season.

VIEW