Modular Classroom Buildings Take Shape in Petaluma

April 5, 2021

At the beginning of 2020, TLCD Architecture was selected by Old Adobe Union School District to develop a plan for replacing four aging classrooms with eight new classrooms to accommodate the growing demand for enrollment at the Loma Vista Immersion Academy in Petaluma. After facilitating a series of visioning meetings with the school staff, the design team emerged with some clear priorities for what the teachers and staff wanted for their new learning environments; lots of daylight, but without too many distracting views; lots of wall space and storage since all of the learning material and student work is in both Spanish and English; flexibility for the classroom space to support a variety of teaching and learning layouts; integrated technology to accommodate one-to-one devices, smart TV’s, and an advanced classroom AV system.

TLCD incorporated each of these priorities into the design of two buildings with four classrooms each, including two larger TK classrooms with toilet rooms and a shared work space. Modular construction was selected for the new buildings in order to speed up the construction process and minimize disruption to the active campus. In Summer of 2020, Alten Construction was selected as the contractor utilizing the lease-leaseback project delivery method, with JL Modular providing the new buildings. The first building was recently completed, just in time for students to return to campus after pandemic conditions improved in Sonoma County. The second building is now under construction and with all of the underground utilities and the concrete slab-on-grade complete.

Last week, we were able to observe the erection of the modular steel components, which was completed in a single day by the skilled steelworkers from Ahlborn Structural Steel.  Everything else in the building, from framing to electrical to casework to finishes, will be built and installed like standard “stick-built” construction.

We look forward to seeing the student’s smiling faces as they return to campus in the coming weeks to occupy the first building and to watch as construction of the second building unfolds each day. By Fall, students will return from Summer break to a transformed campus with two new buildings and a variety of new outdoor learning and gathering spaces.