Mendocino Unified School District
Mendocino High

Mendocino (California) district opens remodeled high school

Sept. 15, 2023
The $15 million project upgraded Mendocino High's 75-year-old building.

The Mendocino (California) Unified School District has held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its remodeled high school.

The Mendocino Beacon reports that the remodeling stripped the original 1948 building of Mendocino High School down to its studs, revealing a solid wood skeleton. Part of the building had been remodeled in the 1980s, but over time, the district concluded the space was, inadequate to the needs of students and teachers.

The project included energy-saving additions such as all-electric features that can be aligned with renewable energy features in the future that will bring the school to carbon neutrality.

Other climate-saving elements include low-water-use fixtures, water-saving landscape irrigation, smart lighting, high-quality roofing, insulation, and double-glazed windows to help control indoor temperatures. Gone are boilers, propane water heaters, and gas stoves.

Principal Tobin Hahn pointed out that the building’s exterior reflected the historical style of Mendocino’s old homes by aligning the roof line with what one commonly sees in the village. The clapboard look of the gabled entryway, said Hahn, presented a building “in more harmony with the village.”

A new student union opens up via accordion glass doors to draw in students for break and lunch. Directly across the hall from the student union’s doorway is access to an outdoor quad, creating a natural traffic flow pattern for student gatherings during the day.

Curved benches, including a set that faces one another, are spaced among the landscaping. 

At a cost of $15 million, Phase One of the remodel was funded by voter approval of Measure H in 2020.

Phase Two of the modernization project will consist of renovation of the gym building, which will include a culinary classroom and equipment. Also part of Phase Two is a Tech Center building that will house the school’s career technical education programs.

The remodel was designed by Quattrocchi Kwok Architects and built by Lathrop Construction Associates.

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