October 1, 2018
Roseland University Prep isn’t your typical high school.
With interior wood paneling, floor-to-ceiling windows and high-end finishes, Roseland University Prep in Santa Rosa, Calif. is more reminiscent of an upscale restaurant in downtown San Francisco than a high school.
The charter school, which was completed in November 2017 and is home to about 450 students, was built using high-end design elements. A particular emphasis was placed on carpentry, clean lines and the use of natural light that can be seen throughout the 30,000-square foot facility's interior.
Alten Construction, a full-service San Francisco Bay Area commercial construction company, started the $11.5 million project in December 2015. The two-story building, built on two acres, incorporates a number of interesting design features that you don’t typically see in a California high school.
“It looks like a Norwegian high school,” says James Mitchell, project manager for Alten Construction. “The project incorporated very unique elements, which are upscale and high quality.”
A large multipurpose room with wooden bleachers, offering a stadium-type seating area, serves as the central point for the high school. The room also features a 10-by-40-foot motorized door on a track that was custom built using steel and polycarbonate panels and allows the room to be open to the outdoors. The area will be used for events, meetings, recreation and as a gathering space.
The school also has a chemistry lab, an art classroom with sliding bifold doors that open up to the outside, a media classroom, administrative offices and 18 classrooms, which have birch wood paneling as a design element. Outside, students are able to enjoy benches, picnic tables and a basketball court.
“For a student, it would be a fun place to go to school,” says James. “It was rewarding to see the quality and the end product. Every school that we build is incredible, but this one in particular with its wood paneling, was unique. It has a totally different style and feel to it. It reminds you of an upscale cabin in Lake Tahoe.”
The new facility marks the first time the charter school, established in 2004, will have a building of its own. The high school had previously been housed on an off-site rental property.
The Roseland School District, which includes a preschool, three elementary schools, two middle schools (one of which is a combination middle and high school) and two high schools (Roseland University Prep and Roseland Collegiate Prep), has the highest rate in the county of Hispanic students who graduate from high school and go on to attend a college or university.
The school’s construction was funded in part through a state grant and private fundraising. Actor Edward James Olmos from “Stand and Deliver” and “Miami Vice” also helped Roseland create a video that was used for fundraising.
“This has been a long-term, 10-year goal for us to get a building that we own on our district property,” says Roseland School District Superintendent Amy Jones-Kerr. “We’re really excited to have a beautiful school for our students.”