Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Construction team shifts from demolition to framing, flooring for new A- and B-buildings

This November marked the end of the demolition phase of the A- and B-building modernization project and the beginning of the construction of the new buildings’ metal frameworks. The A- and B-building construction is scheduled to be completed by August 2024, and the buildings will be furnished and ready for use by December 2024.

Over the past three months, workers have installed slabs on the floors of both buildings to cover underground utilities and conduits, and have begun constructing the metal deck for the roof. According to the November Facilities and Construction Newsletter, the steel deck for roof installation will be welded next.

The construction team is working on developing the plumbing, electrical-wiring and fire-protection systems. They will continue to work on the frame, including wood framing, light-gauge framing, metal-stud framing, welding and steel frameworking, according to Senior Construction Manager Mohammed Sedqi. The construction crews will also install insulation in the walls and on the roof.

Currently, the construction project is on time, with crews caught up on last winter’s lost progress.

The assembly of the building’s metal framework, which requires welding and the use of a crane, presented noticeable changes. Though welding can emit concentrations of hazardous airborne contaminants, according to the Department of Industrial Relations, around 80% of welding is completed off campus, and any welding on campus is done at a safe distance from students.

“As long as we are welding (higher) up, it should not be a concern and is not in close proximity to the students,” Sedqi said.

Though there has been progress on the framework and flooring, construction has had to adapt to student needs. The pavement in front of the C- and E-buildings, fenced off during the second semester of the 2022-23 school year, was reopened with stairs and a ramp to provide students space to walk to classes.

This change, however, gave construction workers less room to work with. The opened area blocks the path of the crane, meaning that the crane needs to be wheeled between the A- and B-buildings to access the B-building construction.

“It was a tough decision (to open up the area to students) because it had a negative impact on the construction,” Sedqi said.

According to Associated Student Body President Nathan Levy, the Student Executive Council has not communicated with students about the construction. Levy said that the administrative team’s monthly newsletter will be the main source of construction updates.

Both students and administrative staff find the construction inconvenient. Although the administrative team has adapted to the current C- and E-building setup, the noise and dust from the construction present complications, according to Secretary Carole Main.

“It really is a problem when they use certain machines that vibrate or when they have machines that create a lot of dust,” she said.

Senior Alexander Lafler-Austern explained that the noise and location of the construction makes navigating the school day more difficult.

“It’s frustrating because sometimes I have to go out of my way (to avoid) the construction because I have a higher-than-average noise sensitivity,” he said. “The construction noises are literally painful when I am near it.”

However, Main is excited for the new building to be completed: It will have a central location on campus with modern amenities where visitors can come.

“The old offices were built in 1964, and we didn’t have air conditioning and we had rats, so it is nice to have (a building) that really represents Gunn,” Main said.

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About the Contributors
Charlotte Qian, News Editor
Junior Charlotte Qian is a news editor for The Oracle. In her spare time between writing articles and designing layouts, she enjoys playing with her lizard, volunteering and golfing.
Chinyoung Shao, Photo Editor, Graphics Artist
Chinyoung Shao is a photos editor and graphics artist who has been on staff since freshman year. Outside of The Oracle, she enjoys doodling, debate and trying to keep plants alive.
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