MCS Board Members and District Administrators cut a large ribbon in front of Tuolumne TK-8 School's new Sustainable Structures.

Tuolumne TK-8 recently celebrated the opening of two new sustainable structures on campus. 

The first structure is what is called a "STEAM" building (Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, and Mathematics). The building consists of 4,900 square feet of indoor space, plus another 1,300 square feet of covered outdoor learning.

Inside you'll find two classrooms with a connecting roll-up door to a Design Lab with space that can be used for robotics or as a "wet lab." It also includes an Audio-Visual Studio with a control room and soundproof broadcast studio, as well as a conference room. The $6.7 million STEAM classroom was funded by Measures D & E.

The second structure is a Sustainable Outdoor Learning Environment or "SOLE." The outdoor structure is also a first of its kind for the District. It includes a 2,000-square-foot covered outdoor classroom that features natural lighting, fresh air, open space, and energy efficiency.

The classroom doesn’t have doors or walls. Instead, it has a solar rooftop and 120-volt power to run TVs, smartboards, and other small equipment. The space is 40 by 50 feet or the equivalent of two classrooms in size. It contains flexible furniture on wheels to provide a variety of uses.

The $950,000 structure was funded by money set aside by the Board of Education for capital projects. Turlock Irrigation District also provided $68,000 in rebates for the solar shade structure.

The structures are part of Modesto City Schools' efforts to be more sustainable and allow Tuolumne TK-8 School to take advantage of the Central Valley's excellent weather while using green energy as a teaching tool, and encouraging students and staff to enjoy the outdoors.

Now that the weather has warmed up, students are putting the new indoor and outdoor classrooms to great use.