Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

Santa Rosa, CA


Cardinal Newman High School Continues Fire Rebuilding Efforts with Groundbreaking of New Student Life Center & Library

By rebecca.ellecamp
Jul 23, '21 4:27 PM EST

Santa Rosa, Calif., July 19, 2021 Cardinal Newman High School recently broke ground on its new Student Life Center & Library, continuing its significant rebuilding and expansion efforts following the Tubbs Fire in 2017. Designed to mimic a modern college Student Union, the two-story, 24,000 square-foot building allows for the replacement of the school’s previous library and media center, as well as new programming spaces. Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) serves as the designer and master planner for the school’s ongoing campus rebuild and improvement projects and GMH Builders is the general contractor for the Student Life Center & Library.

“It was incredibly exciting to be able to gather together and celebrate yet another step forward in our school – and community’s – future,” said Cardinal Newman President Linda Norman. “After a period of hardship and uncertainty following the fire and pandemic, I know our students and staff were inspired by the liveliness on campus and are looking forward to truly being able to enjoy our new Student Life Center & Library. We are forever grateful for the generous support of our donor community and the reliable and talented project team who are making these impressive new spaces a reality.”

A welcoming focal point, the new facility replaces the severely damaged library and media center previously lost to fire and includes an innovation lab, digital media lab, restrooms and support spaces. Also included are an indoor cafeteria and full-service kitchen, student lounge and conference and group study rooms, spaces the school has not previously had and that will accommodate students arriving on campus early or remaining after school hours. Sustainable features include energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems, low flow plumbing fixtures, drought tolerant landscaping, bioswales and operable windows. 

“Even while working amidst the backdrop of the pandemic, designing Cardinal Newman’s Student Life Center & Library was enjoyable and rewarding,” said QKA Principal John Dybczak. “We really wanted to give the students and staff comfortable and modern spaces for congregating and group study, reminiscent of something you might find on higher education campuses. I’m confident we achieved this goal and look forward to seeing the project through the construction phase.”

Cardinal Newman’s new Student Life Center & Library is being constructed in two phases and expected to complete in Spring 2023. In 2019, the school saw the completion of its first rebuilding project, the North Classroom Building, and last year broke ground on a new two-story 18-classroom complex. QKA serves as Architect of Record and Bisbee Architecture + Design is the Associated Design Architect for the two-story classroom complex. Students, faculty and the project team look forward to celebrating the completion and opening of the new facility this fall.  

About Cardinal Newman High School

Cardinal Newman is a Catholic, college preparatory high school. The mission is to educate students in the wholeness of mind, body, and soul through the teachings of Jesus Christ as proclaimed by the Catholic Church. Cardinal Newman students learn to apply leadership skills and talents in service to others. Each student is challenged to work to his or her highest potential in the lifelong pursuit of learning and excellence.

About Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

QKA provides comprehensive master planning and design services for K-12 and higher education, historic renovation and community facilities in Northern California. With more than $2 billion in projects completed in its 34-year history, QKA’s award-winning portfolio reflects a commitment to design that emphasizes environmental sustainability and community impact. Building Design + Construction has recognized QKA as one of the nation’s top K-12 and BIM (building information modeling) architecture firms. Engineering News-Record has called it one of America’s top design firms. Majority employee-owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), QKA continually lands on the North Bay Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” list. Visit to learn more.

About GMH Builders 

Based in Sonoma, GMH Builders provides technical construction management and general contracting services for health care, education, hospitality, winery, commercial, residential, and multi-family projects. Clients include Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Adventist Health, NorthBay Healthcare, Keysight Technologies, Dominus Estate, Bear Republic Brewery, and many more.