By Haley Sawyer
Physical improvements to South Pasadena Unified School District campuses are set to continue, as the Board of Education this week voted unanimously to approve a contract with the Nazerian Group to begin construction on new elementary school buildings.
“This is an exciting step in the process for our elementary school Measure SP project,” said Superintendent Geoff Yantz. “It’s been about two years in the making for our elementary projects.”
The vote took place at the school board’s meeting this week, where board members were considering bids received for the projects at Marengo, Arroyo Vista and Monterey Hills elementary schools.
Thirteen portable classrooms will be replaced with permanent buildings and classrooms for visual and performing arts will be built on each campus. Some playground equipment will be relocated to make room for the improvements.
The project is budgeted at $4,397,369.
Fencing is scheduled to go up on April 1, with construction to begin during spring break. Site work will be prepared during that time, after which building parts will be delivered and assembled. The projects at Marengo and Arroyo Vista are expected to be completed in six months, while the project at Monterey Hills may take eight to nine months.
There will be no likely impact on the hybrid model of education that SPUSD has transitioned to in response to the reopening of schools as some COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
“There are less students on campus, so the true impact is less than if we had all students on campus,” Yantz said.
Measure SP, a $98 million construction bond that voters passed in 2016, is funding the project. Measure SP improvements also included $13 million in renovations to South Pasadena High School athletic facilities that were completed in late February.
The athletics facelift included renovated bleachers and floor in the main gym as well as a new auxiliary gym, weight room, film room and athletic training room. Outdoor improvements included refinished basketball courts and tennis courts.
“We’re very appreciative of the community for supporting Measure SP,” Yantz said at the athletic facilities unveiling in February. “We now have a very well-integrated athletic facility that’s safe and conducive for student-athletes to perform at a high level.”
Projects funded by Measure SP, which also have included a new STEM building at the high school, were decided on by the school board and will be implemented throughout the next 10 years.
Roof and HVAC improvements for Marengo Elementary as well as a playing field and hard court for South Pasadena Middle School are other projects that have already been completed.
The SPUSD school board is next scheduled to meet on April 13.