Cardinal Newman High School Starts 2019-20 School Year with Reconstructed North Classroom Building After Tubbs Wildfire Destruction

Categorized as Press Release, Project News

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Aug. 26, 2019)Cardinal Newman High School (Cardinal Newman) students, teachers and staff returned to campus for the new school year to see a significant step made in rebuilding and renovating the severely fire-damaged school. Designed by Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) and built by Wright Contracting (Wright), the new 9,300 square-foot North Classroom Building completed this month and is the first project constructed in support of the school’s Facilities Master Plan (FMP), which was developed by QKA and finalized earlier this year.

“While the first day of school always brings excitement, this year was particularly special experiencing the students see their completed new classroom building for the first time,” said Cardinal Newman President Laura Held. “I’m incredibly proud of the resiliency of our Cardinal Newman community and thank the project team and all who have contributed to our vision and planning for what I know will be a truly remarkable environment for our students to learn and grow.”

Comprised of eight classrooms and student restrooms, the building sustained substantial fire and smoke damage, leaving only structural wood framing. QKA worked with Cardinal Newman to design new modern and flexible classrooms to better accommodate today’s learning environments. This was achieved by limiting the amount of built-in casework, incorporating furniture that is easily moveable and reconfigurable, and adding operable partitions between classrooms to respond to teaching needs. Of importance, new larger student restrooms for boys and girls were an integral part of the project.

With sustainability and wellness top of mind, the building incorporates new energy efficient mechanical systems, including air conditioning, lighting with dimming controls, and larger, operable windows for maximized fresh air. Outside, covered walkways damaged by the fire were removed, new canopies were installed above classroom doors and shading devices were installed above windows. New concrete sidewalks now line the perimeter of the building.

“As a past Cardinal Newman parent, it’s personally and professionally rewarding for me to be part of this work that will not only allow the students, teachers and staff to get back to a sense of normalcy, but experience an even better educational environment that will adapt to the future,” said QKA Principal John Dybczak. “Designing these new spaces has been a highly collaborative process with the end result greatly supporting the school’s programming needs and desires.”

Next on the horizon for Cardinal Newman is a new two-story classroom building that will allow for removal of the temporary portable classrooms that have been in use since the fires.

About Cardinal Newman High School
Cardinal Newman is a Catholic, college preparatory high school. The mission is to educate students in the wholeness of mind, body, and spirit through the teachings of Jesus Christ as proclaimed by the Catholic Church. Cardinal Newman students learn to apply leadership skills and talents in service to others. Each student is challenged to work to his or her highest potential in the lifelong pursuit of learning and excellence.

About Wright Contracting
For 65 years, Wright Contracting has built a reputation as the leading commercial construction company in the North Bay. This tradition of craftsmanship has earned Wright Contracting the opportunity to build many of the North Bay’s notable landmarks including schools, hospitals, event centers, wineries and more. With offices in both Santa Rosa and Napa, Wright Contracting is well-situated to work on projects throughout the North Bay. The company’s commitment to providing clients with the highest level of service has been the cornerstone of its successful business history. Visit to learn more. Wright Contracting, Building your North Bay since 1953.