Ava Seccuro staff writer
Four buildings are going to be under construction throughout 2018 and 2019. B1 and B2, which are located in between the Main Building and Moreno High School, are currently under construction. B3 and B4, located at and behind the Salter Theatre, will begin construction in early 2019, once a permit is obtained by the district.
In addition to the construction of all four middle schools in the BHUSD, the high school is concurrently working on the oil well cap and plug project to remove the oil rig on the softball field. The project began in May, along with the construction of the B1 and B2 historic buildings.
“[The project] has approximately eight months left [to go], and they’re progressing well,” Chief Operating Officer Jeff Pylman said. “The derrick was taken down over the summer and they’re in the process of removing all the rods and tubings from the first group of wells and filing them with concrete [up to] 2000 feet deep.”
Most of the changes made under construction of the high school have primarily involved the structural refurbishment in buildings B1 and B2. According to a department update issued by the Construction and Facilities Offices, lead and asbestos have been completely removed from B1 and B2. Selective demolition has been completed, and new foundation construction is in the works.
“We’re in the process of bidding out the final traits to present to the board the last portion…for that project, and that is targeted for Oct. 30,” Pylman said.
Extra flooring was added in the villages to protect from potentially earthquake activity. Pylman, Senior Program Executive Don Blake and the rest of the construction team have additionally planned to fit the rest of B1 and B2 for seismic activity.
The STC and main buildings have also received a number of renovations to enhance student comfort, safety and productivity.
“Over the summer, the cooling tower system was refurbished [in the STC]. The elevator, [the one] that was problematic during the last school year in that building, is currently being retrofitted,” Pylman said. “We have installed sound, noise, vibration and video camera monitors on our west property line for the MTA project…and [we have] surveyed the campus for security camera installation.”
The construction of the high school, along with the four other middle schools, is paid for by Measure BH, which collects an extra tax to pay for the expenditures of the construction, but is also paid for by Measure E, which was enacted in Nov. 2008.
“Measure E is our current construction bond and it was [for] all five schools to modernize…them, which is what your school is being constructed under. That money is [worth] $334 million,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Services La Tanya Kirk-Carter said.
Despite the progress made and the funds raised, most of the modernization project is still incomplete as B1 and B2 started reconstruction in May, and B3 and B4 have not yet been permitted for remodeling.
“B1 and B2 [are] on a 30 month schedule. It already started in around May,” Blake said. “B3 and B4 will be [finished] in another 24 months. If we can do them both at the same time, we can have all for of the [buildings] done in 36 months.”
No matter what course of action Blake decides to take regarding how construction will take place, he believes it is evident that construction is at its least, a distraction to the learning environment.
“I’m trying to advance this schedule as much as I possibly can because it tears up the school. It’s a lot of pain and suffering for everybody,” Blake said. “I want to be able to finish the high school in the next five years.”
A project progress report expected for release within the next 30 days.