Construction of A and B buildings continues despite weather delays

For the past five months, the A and B buildings have been undergoing many significant renovations, with the aim of transforming them into a more warm and welcoming entrance to the school.

According to bond program director Tom Hodges, who oversees construction, different tasks are all in various stages of completion. “So far, we’ve completed the demolition of the A and B buildings, including all the concrete and structures that surround the two buildings, and we’ve been working on underground utilities inside A and B, like plumbing and electrical work,” he said. According to Hodges, the next step of construction is the seismic retrofitting—or structurally strengthening buildings with new wood and columns to prevent earthquake damage—of the buildings. “We’ll also be leveling out of the site for the new additions to those new buildings, then we’ll be working on some more site utilities outside A and B as well,” Hodges said.

The project, which started on Oct. 24, 2022, was originally scheduled to be completed by  Jun. 30, 2024. However, the extreme weather that hit California is delaying completion. “We’re probably about a month late, but it’s still early in the project, so we’re hoping to make some time up when the weather starts to improve,” Hodges said. “We’ve been finding things both in the building and around the site that we weren’t anticipating, so we’re doing a lot of rework with our design team to make adjustments for all these unforeseen conditions.”

One of those unforeseen conditions is a surprise in the location of a water line, which the construction team discovered was in a different location than originally shown. It’s about 20 feet away from where we were shown in the drawings, so we’re gonna have to relocate that water line, which we can’t do during school because it’ll affect all the bathrooms on campus,” Hodges said. According to Hodges, the issue will be resolved during the next long weekend.

The demolition has also forced the administration to temporarily relocate to the E building. According to the principal’s secretary Martha Elderon, the change has gone very well. “It’s made it easier to communicate with each other because it’s a smaller area, so we can talk to each other without having to walk down the hall to see each other,” she said.

However, the change in location has made it much more difficult for visitors to get around campus. “ It’s harder for them because they have to walk further to get their parking passes and then walk back to their cars,” Elderon said. “We did what we could with the signage and directions, but it’s just very hard to find us.”

Social studies teacher Chris Johnson has had to endure the occasional loud noises from the construction site. “There were days early on where it seemed like there was noise all the time,” he said. “It was just constant noise.”

According to Hodges, the sound comes from the machine that they use when removing old foundations or concrete. “We still have some concrete columns that we have to remove in the near future, so (the sounds are) not done yet,” he said.