In 2010, the California Kindergarten Readiness Act established Transitional Kindergarten (TK) as part of the K-12 grade system, giving children the opportunity to be better prepared for Kindergarten. In 2021, California expanded to universal TK, allowing all 4 year-old children to be eligible for TK by the 25-26 school year. As a result, School Districts throughout the state have been building and renovating facilities to accommodate this new grade level. Rincon Valley Union School District selected TLCD Architecture to design a new building for TK classrooms and a Preschool on their Manzanita Elementary School campus in Santa Rosa.
Visible from Yulupa Avenue, the new building will be located on the South side of the campus adjacent to the existing kindergarten classrooms, play structure, and field. A dedicated TK play area includes age-appropriate play equipment that promotes a variety of movement and core muscle development. A large covered overhang allows teachers to bring activities outside during nearly all weather conditions. Roof monitors with high windows allow daylight to reflect off its upper walls, providing diffuse natural light throughout the classrooms.
Three classrooms are connected by flex spaces supporting collaboration amongst teachers in addition to providing valuable storage space. TK-sized restrooms in each classroom, a multi-stall restroom, and a single user adult restroom reduce the long travel distance for all users. A calming blue and green color palette both inside and outside will help students ease into their new experience in public education.
Holly Construction based in Santa Rosa, officially broke ground on January 2, 2024. The new building and playground are scheduled for completion in time to welcome teachers and students for the Fall 2024 school year. The District hopes to build off the success of this project by expanding TK and preschool facilities on their other campuses in the future as well.