Colony Oak Elementary School of the not-so-distant future could have the look of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics campus.
That’s the early plans unveiled from the Folsom office of WLC Architects. Max Medina, who is the principal architect of the voter-approved Measure G project, showed conceptual drawings of a Colony Oak at Monday’s Ripon Unified school board meeting.
The center piece here would be the STEM education labs surrounded by classrooms paired per grade levels – for example, two kindergarten classes would sit side-by-side next to the first-grade classrooms, etc.
“(We) combined the relationships of classroom to classroom and indoor to outdoor spaces to maximize the education experience,” said Medina, who has been working with the Colony Oak Design Committee on the project.
This was also part of the mission developed by the architects and committee. Together, they looked to do the following:
uCreate a modern, secure, sustainable and collaborative educational environment for students and teachers of the school,
uShowcase STEM education as the heart of the campus.
uPractice passive sustainable design by ensuing natural day lighting and smart building orientation.
uProvide campus safety by limiting access points and creating clear lines of vision.
uImprove circulation by expanding parking and drop off points.
uBe realistic with the scope and budget.
Scott Gaudineer, principal of Program Management Integration, assured the board that the project is within budget. He indicated that planning consisted of four meetings and one town hall meeting during a three-month span.
Thus far – in the big picture – Colony Oak, besides the two kindergarten classrooms, is looking at 16 STEM classrooms (two classrooms per grade, first though eighth), three STEM labs, a library media center, and a RSP / Title 1 / Speech / Meeting Room / ELC (Early Learning Center) / Psychologist space.
Superintendent Siegrid “Ziggy” Robeson said the early plan still needs some tweaking. “It’s a work in progress,” she said.
Robeson is anticipating construction to start in the summer with the plans, if all goes accordingly, receiving approval from the Division of State Architect.
“We’re on a tight timeline,” she said. “But we’re optimistic.”
Construction will take place around the existing campus consisting of the Multi-Purpose / Administration Building.
The aging portable classrooms will be replaced with the new STEM learning environments. The parking lot left of the Multi-Purpose Building would be extended out to the new kindergarten classrooms, serving as a drop-off point for younger students. The other two existing parking lots would remain untouched but with reconfigured spaces.
In addition, Colony Oak is looking to get improved fresh and waste water utilities.