Community, Safety, Success: Advancing the Taft Community School Campus
Some incredible changes are coming to Taft Community School located in the North Fair Oaks and Friendly Acres neighborhoods of Redwood City. The Redwood City School District (RCSD) Measure T Bond Program Team, led by Don Dias, has been working with the principal,staff, and parents at Taft since the fall of 2016 to reinvigorate the excitement of learning at the Taft campus. The design team of H.E.D. Architects is proposing a striking architectural transformation that is sure to provide welcoming arms to the community by drawing students into a beautiful new learning environment where they will thrive and study. RCSD is excited to share a sneak peek into the proposed design of our new school.
Taft Community School’s goal is “to develop a strong pathway to biliteracy leading into high school and beyond. This assures our students great opportunities in college and career by giving them skills that translate into the workplace. We are the only school in the Redwood City School District that has both a biliteracy path and an English path from preschool to third grade.”
The Facilities Master Plan complements Taft’s goals by setting a framework of equitable enhancements for each school across the district. The enhancements at Taft include:
- A new, two-story classroom building on Tenth Ave,
- A new outdoor student learning courtyard with an Amphitheatre—nearly 3,000 square feet of outdoor learning and gathering space – large enough for about 650 students at any one time,
- A new, state-of-the-art library,
- A new, more efficient parking and drop-off loop,
- Securing the main office with a singular point and controlled access to the school during business hours,
- A mixture of new ornamental fencing with existing fencing to provide a more secure perimeter around the school,
- Updating Information Technology systems throughout the school, including new televisions, new audio systems, expanding internet and data systems, and
- A modest modernization of all other buildings on campus to freshen up the learning environments that students and teachers interact in every day
The new two-story building will change the face of the Taft Community School, re-orienting the main entrance and office to a location that is front and center to all visitors. The office, a two-story space with large windows and natural light, provides a single point of access to the campus, which enhances security. Inside the building will be student classrooms for various different subjects that have been designed to respond to the ever-changing ways children learn.
Once inside the campus, the office empties into a large outdoor courtyard of nearly 3,000 square feet. This courtyard will be beautiful and provide teachers and students space to spread out and learn. The outdoor courtyard also has an Amphitheatre that provides additional seating and gathering space for students while doubling as a staircase to the second floor. The design team has experimented with merging form and function to create a wonderful space that waste no opportunity for learning and creativity.
Taft’s transformation is a multi-year, multi-stage process. The Program Management Team is working to minimize impact to the students on campus while we make a purposeful investment in the community, neighborhood, and our students.
We are excited to see this transformation begin the summer of 2019.