Candice Anvari staff writer
Construction on the BHHS and El Rodeo campuses is still proceeding over the course of second semester. However, high school buildings B1 and B2 should be available for students and teachers by fall 2021, according to superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy, as the construction crew is nearing completion.
The B1 and B2 Modernization Project progressed throughout Beverly’s physical closure in March, and is set to be completed by spring 2021. The B3 and B4 Modernization Project is currently taking place simultaneously with the B1 and B2 project, with no official date for completion.
Although students are not physically on campus, the construction timeline was not expedited as a result of the school’s physical closure because the construction crew has been on schedule “every step of the way.” However, Bregy believes the school’s closure made the construction process “easier” for the construction crew because they don’t have to “work around” students and teachers.
Assistant principal Drew Stewart believes construction has been moving along “fairly well and it is “certainly” on schedule. He is “happy” to announce that the Oil Well Plugging Project is officially complete.
“The oil wells have been a hot topic for several years now, but they are completely done. They have been decommissioned completely and their abandonment is done,” Stewart said. “There is still a little bit of a wait time until we will start new construction in those areas, but that piece is completed.”
Along with the completion of the Oil Well Plugging Project, Stewart believes the B1/B2 Modernization is about 95% complete, as the construction crew is adding the “finishing touches.” Bregy is “absolutely” certain that both students and teachers will be able to enter buildings B1 and B2 in the fall semester of 2021.
“Our plan is to utilize the space. We want to celebrate it because this is a big accomplishment for our school district and for our students, who have been waiting for such a long time,” Bregy said. “We want to make sure that we use that space as soon as we can, so I think this fall is the perfect time to do a grand reopening.”
Once the B1/B2 Modernization is complete, principal Mark Mead anticipates a total of 11 new classrooms, including new counseling offices, the College Center, the Career Center, the Media Center and the ASB room.
In regards to the B3/B4 Modernization, Mead believes the project can be completed approximately two years from this fall. The project is currently on schedule, so Mead is “optimistic” for the new auditorium.
“Not having an auditorium for about eight years has been a real challenge for the high school, so opening it up is going to be really exciting,” Mead said. “I’ve seen sketches and mock ups of what the auditorium is going to look like. From what I understand, it is more equivalent to a collegiate level production center.”
Similar to Mead, Bregy believes that the B3/B4 Modernization is “coming along” just as planned.
“One of the things I don’t think people realize is that there are a lot of challenges when working with an existing structure because you have to bring it up to building code and earthquake codes,” Bregy said. “It has not been an easy project because we have to match a lot of the same structures and supports that are there. Fortunately, it has been approved by DSA [the Division of the State Architect], so the project is continuing just as we anticipated it would.”
Stay tuned for more updates as construction progresses.