Santa Maria, CA — Righetti High School recently broke ground on an exciting new three-story, thirty-eight-classroom building with a modern aesthetic that complements the campus’ original post-and-beam architecture. Designed by Rachlin Partners for Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, the new facility will provide a variety of collaborative, flexible, and multi-media classrooms to create 21st Century Learning Environments.

In addition to providing a state-of-the art facility that empowers teachers and students through interactive technology, the new classroom building serves as a landmark building to renew campus pride while providing functional campus improvements such as streamlined circulation throughout the school.

Attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony included: Dr. Mark Richardson; Superintendent Karen Rotondi, Principal, Righetti High School; Dr. Jack Garvin, Member, Board of Education; Dr. Carol Karamitsos, President, Board of Education; Dominick Palera, Member, Board of Education; and Diana Perez, Clerk, Board of Education.

“Righetti High School will now be poised to meet the evolutionary needs of a growing 21st Century academic environment,” says Michael Rachlin, AIA, Founding Partner of Rachlin Partners. “We have designed the site with a connective pathway to help guide students from the learning environment to the new sports environment, thereby creating a symbiotic relationship between both components of the school. It will be an important unifying element for the campus.”

Among the thirty-eight classrooms, twenty-nine are designed for general academic use in service of Math, English, and Health instruction. Four classrooms are designed to meet the needs of the school’s career pathway educational program. They will be housed in “Pathway Flex Rooms” that are intended for a variety of future uses and can be adapted to students’ interests as well as the District’s curricular requirements. One of the classrooms will specifically house digital arts and photography design, while the other three will accommodate flexible programming. The remaining five rooms are “Assessment Flex Rooms” with collapsible center walls that enable individual rooms to be combined into larger flexible spaces. This allows for use during large group assessments, evening assemblies, and other school functions. Floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding markerboards, and technological/multi-media components are additional features that make the classrooms dynamic and engaging educational spaces.

In addition to the innovative floor plan, the building will be constructed on a 60-degree angle to define a clear and accessible path of travel to the new practice gymnasium and sports complex. The pathway will unify different areas of the campus by encouraging circulation between the school’s North and South axes.

The $22 million project has an anticipated completion date of early 2019 and is a result of the 2004 Measure C Bond Program.

About Rachlin Partners:

Rachlin Partners is an award-winning, fully-integrated architecture, planning, and interior design firm with a distinct specialization in education and performing arts. Established in 1982 in Los Angeles, California, Rachlin Partners has expanded into one of the top 50 architecture firms in L.A. today, as named by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Educational projects include the award-winning Bonita Center for the Arts, recipient of a CASH - AIA/California Council Award of Excellence (2015); Gold Nugget Award, Best Educational Project (2015); and Los Angeles Business Council, Education Award (2015), among many other honors.  Rachlin Partners practices an architecture that is innovative and authentic. For more information visit:

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