/ Carondelet High School Master Plan + Innovation Center
The first project to be designed and constructed from the master plan completed by Ratcliff for this all-girls private Catholic high school in Concord, California is a new two-story, 17,500 sf, Center for Innovation. As the over-arching goal of the master plan is to connect new and existing buildings to each other and to the main campus quad, two new bridges now connect the existing academic building to the new Center. In 21st Century education, every space on campus is designed to be a learning space, both academically and socially.
Designed to complement the existing campus vernacular, the Innovation Center is a post-tensioned concrete structure with a combination of cement plaster and brick accents. Designed for flexibility, the classroom environments surround a central atrium space for presentations, small gatherings and group projects. A main feature of the atrium is a 22’ wide x 13’ tall LED screen that is used for a variety of purposes such as classroom activities, outside speaking engagements and airing the school’s sporting events. Internal sliding glass panels allow classrooms to change in size and connect to adjacent interior spaces; exterior roll up “garage” doors connect ground floor classrooms to outdoor areas.
Both hardscape and landscape accommodate outdoor learning and improve connectivity. Seating areas have been added for students to gather and sit, as well as provide transitions between pathway elevations. Outdoor classroom environments are located adjacent to each of the ground floor classrooms. The new Center displaces a portion of the existing front lawn but a small portion of the lawn remains; bio-swales in several locations have been added to handle storm water management and C3 requirements.