Santa Rosa Junior College, along with the Sonoma County Junior College District (SCJCD), announced this month the largest district-wide facilities upgrade initiative in its nearly 100-year history with a master planning contract awarded to the Gensler+QKA joint venture team, comprised of Gensler and Santa Rosa, CA-based Quattrocchi Kwok Architects.

The $410 million improvement plan will be funded as part of the Measure H bond passed by voters in 2014. The contract value for the JV team is still in negotiation, says project officials.

Gensler+QKA will work closely with Leigh Sata, the district's director of Capital Projects, says Dr. Frank Chong, Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Superintendent and President. The JV team will develop a District-wide Facilities Master Plan to be employed on all five campuses in Sonoma County, which includes the SRJC Santa Rosa Campus and Southwest Center in Santa Rosa, Petaluma Campus in Petaluma, Shone Farm in Forestville and the Public Safety Training Center in Windsor.

Steve Kwok, a principal at QKA and the project’s lead architect, says that after previously working with the school district, his firm feels a "close connection" to the project and has "a clear vision" for how the master plan and campus design process should unfold.

Gensler+QKA currently is conducting a full condition and needs assessment of buildings and building systems, with a concentrated focus on energy efficiency, health and comfort, water and wastewater systems and management, and site and habitat needs. The second phase will include an analysis of demographic and education trends within the county with future needs for academic programs informing the Facilities Master Plan. The Master Plan will include architectural and landscape blueprints, technology systems design, and the creation of a building program for each campus.

Within the Gensler+QKA joint venture, Kwok says QKA will have the responsibility of performing the Facilities Condition Assessments for all facilities on each of the five campuses, while Gensler is responsible for the development of the site master plans. He says the QKA team recently visited and performed visual assessments on each of the district’s buildings, documenting the general conditions and making note of significant deficiencies.

A team of engineers and other professionals are also conducting assessments of various building systems and site conditions - including civil engineers, landscape architects, structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineers, says Kwok. There are also teams of professionals looking at the condition of the roofs, signage and way finding, information technology/audio visual systems, security systems, and accessibility issues (ADA).

"When all of the reports are completed, QKA will collate all of the information and publish the final report," he says. "QKA and Gensler are also collaborating in the development of Districtwide Standards. These standards will provide technical and performance based specifications for the new Measure H building projects."

Karen Kuklin, San Francisco studio director at Gensler and the project’s lead director, says the assessment work of the QKA team will inform the site plans developed by Gensler, and will be one of the criteria for determining the order of projects as the implementation plan is developed.

QKA has a team of six involved in the facilities assessment, while Gensler has a team of four working on the Educational Master Planning portion of the project and seven working on the master plan, as well as a number of specialty consultants. Signage & wayfinding, landscape and sustainability services are being provided by Gensler, and other services, such as ADA and Universal Access, furniture, fixtures and equipment, and security, are performed by consultants to the team.

Kuklin says design will be an interesting challenge because the district has five different teaching sites, each with its own unique design challenges and opportunities. "One of the challenges is to assist the district with aligning the correct amount of the bond funding with the needs at each campus," she says. "One of the greatest challenges is on the Santa Rosa campus, which is the oldest of the teaching sites. Decaying infrastructure, installed over many years, will need to be modernized with a minimal disruption to services. Renovations will be balanced with a need for new buildings."

Kwok says the first project to begin is the renovation of the Burbank Auditorium on the Santa Rosa campus. The ground breaking is anticipated in early 2017 and the district is hoping to complete the project in late 2018, coinciding with the district’s 100th anniversary celebration, he says.