Redding School of Arts: So Green It’s Platinum – Part 1


Construction on the new Redding School of the Arts campus is underway.

During a media event held this morning at the McConnell Foundation, Foundation president and CEO Lee Salter and principal architect at Trilogy Architecture James Theimer gave a presentation on the status and goals of the future campus.


Salter called the RSA campus a “signature project,” and likened its potential influence to the Sundial Bridge. The new campus aims to be platinum-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).


Discussed at the presentation were a variety of strategies employed in the design of the campus, like an underground, 150,000-gallon rainwater reservoir to collect rainwater and provide 100 percent of the irrigation needs (excluding the playing field). Theimer, a LEED accredited professional specializing in urban design, also oversees the landscape and site development of the project. He pointed out the generous use of windows and natural light sources, geothermal heating, and classroom aspects (each classroom faces north to best utilize natural light), which all play into the environmentally friendly scheme.


Currently, there are 10 platinum schools in the nation, but some are as small as one classroom. Trilogy, along with the help of Kibler and Kibler Architecture and Engineering, designed the building on land owned by the Foundation. Under Trilogy’s lead, the new RSA campus will be the nation’s largest (or nearly largest) LEED platinum-certified school.

A charter school sponsored by the Gateway Unified School District, RSA was afforded the option of choosing a local architect to oversee the project, whereas other public schools must go through California’s designated office.

The Trilogy-McConnell partnership is nothing new. Trilogy designed the McConnell Arboretum and its maintenance facility. Other local works include the Cascade Theatre, the Carnegie Stage in Library Park and the Turtle Bay Administration building and amphitheatre.

Recently Trilogy completed a LEED-certified medical center in Round Mountain (the final certification is still pending) and in addition to the RSA campus, is working on a LEED-certified housing project in downtown Redding – Theimer says it’s the first in the county.

Click here for part two of Joshua Corbelli’s story on Redding School of the Arts.


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7 Responses

  1. Avatar John N. Stewart says:

    "Redding School of the Arts" has a great ring to it. Hats off to Trilogy-McConnell! I can see Redding becoming a cultural destination, soon!

  2. Avatar Steve Fischer says:

    Great news about the buildings, I'm sure.
    What about the "Arts" part?
    What arts will the school teach?
    Funding for school arts programs have taken huge hits recently, how will this school sustain the arts programs, and what is their mission? Big empty green buildings won't do us much good.

    • Avatar Kelly says:


      RSA is a charter school that has been in existence since 1999. They are a visual and performing arts school with thematic instruction and a burgeoning Mandarin immersion program. Even with the state's significant budget cuts, they've managed to sustain their arts programs. For more information, check out their website:

    • Avatar RSA Parent says:

      My kids go to RSA. RSA is a charter school and was originally thought up (among other reasons) to counter the fact that funding for school arts programs have taken huge hits. It is my understanding that, being charter school, RSA is funded by the State, but can spend the money as they see fit, within reason and as long as they "meet the grade" in the 3R's. RSA has music class everyday for every kid. Kids choose elevtives of dance and art etc.

      Check out:

  3. Avatar Sally Wells says:

    I am aware there were difficulties completing this project for use this next coming school year, but it will be well worth the wait for the following year. There are so many mind boggling features, the community will be proud upon its completion.

  4. Avatar anonymous student says:

    to steve.

    I have been going to rsa for seven years. we learn many things including music drama and art. this year i am hoping to get into the school musical. rsa has been so much fun.


    anonymous student

  1. August 18, 2011

    […] schools in Shasta County and elsewhere in California are opening this week, including the brand new Redding School of the Arts, just off Shasta View Drive. I’m sure parents are celebrating, even if the teachers aren’t. […]