Torres sparkles with anticipation
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Sandon Schwartz of Madera Unified talks about the library during a tour of the new Matilda Torres High School campus currently under construction.
Standing proudly on the corner of Road 26 and Martin Street is Madera’s new high school, a magnificent monument to beauty, excellence, and dedication. Matilda Torres would be proud of the colorful complex, which has been named in her honor. In just a little over two months, it will be home to its first students.
Strolling across the campus, one immediately recognizes the expertise of all of the planners and builders. From the gymnasium and aquatic complex on one end, to the classrooms, library, and theatre on the other, nothing has been left out — nothing forgotten.
A look on the inside of the buildings is equally impressive.
The classrooms are state of the art, and their soft colors closely match the various materials used on the exterior of the buildings. “We really love how all the colors complement each other,” says Rosalind Cox, MUSD Director of Facilities Planning. Several other features of the school render it unrivaled by comparison.
Camarena Health has constructed a clinic on the MTHS campus. It is located in the main building (Academic A) and is connected to the district nurse’s office and the district’s CTE nursing lab. A full complement of medical services, with a physician, nurses, and a dentist on duty, will be available to students, teachers, and parents.
Also located in Academic A is a lecture hall with seating for approximately 105 people. This is a unique feature for the entire district.
MTHS also has a CTE
Manufacturing/Engineering building, which includes a huge shop and two classrooms for the Robotics program.
Perhaps the most notable feature of Matilda Torres High School is its Performing Arts building, which will make Ginger Latimer, veteran drama teacher, grin with gladness. It includes a large theater, surrounded by choir, band, and drama classrooms, with easy access to the stage and dressing rooms.
The theater will seat 300 guests. It includes a lobby, box office, restrooms and concession area. It is equipped with theater lighting, sound system, and a catwalk system. According to Cox, “the music spaces (band and choir rooms) have been designed with the assistance of an acoustician to ensure proper isolation of sound from other spaces and to ensure that spaces perform appropriately for students and teachers.”
The building’s large choir room also includes a spacious practice room, uniform storage space, sheet music storage, and office space for the choir teacher.
The band room includes four practice rooms, color guard storage space, band uniform storage space, sheet music storage and office space for the band teacher. The band room also has access to an enclosed exterior yard for the loading and unloading of musical equipment. Instrument storage is located adjacent to this yard for easy access, according to Cox.
The drama spaces include a drama room, large scene shop, as well as boys and girls dressing rooms, storage rooms and an outdoor covered area.
Matilda Torres High is set to open on Aug. 10, 2020. Principal Sabrina Rodriquez and her staff can hardly wait to welcome the school’s first students, which will number approximately 850 9th and 10th graders in this first year of operation. As the construction crew puts the finishing touches on the school, some of the teachers are already moving in, so anxious are they to work in what many are calling the “gem of education in the Valley.”