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Facilities Update

California school remodels CTE classroom for hands-on learning

UPGRADED LEARNING SPACE—After being used for 16 years to teach photography, this classroom at Sunnyside High School has been transformed to accommodate CTE. Student collaboration is encouraged with easily movable and adjustable chairs and workstations.
UPGRADED LEARNING SPACE—After being used for 16 years to teach photography, this classroom at Sunnyside High School has been transformed to accommodate CTE. Student collaboration is encouraged with easily movable and adjustable chairs and workstations.

Students at Sunnyside High in Fresno, California, can now enroll in a multimedia and marketing course, thanks to a recently remodeled CTE classroom that promotes hands-on learning.

CHALLENGE: Educator Tamela Ryatt had taught traditional black-and-white photography for 16 years before Fresno USD shifted the course’s focus.

The original photography classroom—which housed a large processing sink and darkroom—required remodeling to support the new multimedia curriculum.

The school also needed to replace the room’s bulky table and chairs. “When some of my taller students sat down, their knees wouldn’t fit under the table,” says Ryatt.

Ryatt also wanted to have the ability to change the room’s layout at a moment’s notice. “Half of my students had their backs to my projection screen, and movement was nearly impossible,” she says. “We could not have a productive group discussion.”

SOLUTION: Ryatt replaced the clunky furniture with Node workstations that have buckets underneath for storage. “Students can also roll around unencumbered on the Nodes and collaborate with one another in a matter of seconds,” Ryatt says.

The remodeled room also features a team table with bar stools that can be tucked away if students want to stand. In addition, a counter-height bank of eight workstations and adjustable-height drafting chairs are available for students.

“The classroom sets the mood for creativity and fun, while we get our work done. I couldn’t be happier,” says Ryatt.

COMPLETION: August 2017

COST: $37,000

PROJECT TEAM: Project manager: Tangram Interiors (California)