South Pasadena Unified School District construction projects paid for by the Measure SP Bond are set to begin later this month.
The inaugural renovation project at Marengo Elementary School, slated to begin June 12, includes a complete replacement of the shingle roofing – a need identified by an assessment and exacerbated by conditions experienced during recent rainstorms – and new HVAC units for the single-story buildings. The project kicks off the first of four phases of construction to be completed over the next 10 years as part of Measure SP.
“With the start of Measure SP construction, the community will begin seeing the future of South Pasadena schools,” said SPUSD Superintendent Geoff Yantz. “Through extensive planning and research, we have identified facility projects that will meet the instructional needs of our students and will ensure that we are providing safe environments for 21st century learning and community use. We’re very excited about what’s in store for our students, their families and our staff.”
District officials say bond projects that begin during phase one should be complete by the end of 2020. In addition to the roofing and HVAC projects at Marengo, South Pasadena High School (SPHS) likely will see ground break on a new math and science building, with construction slated to begin in the winter of 2017.
The SPHS athletic and physical education complex also will be renovated during phase one with a new gymnasium floor, new gymnasium bleachers, outdoor/visitor-side bleachers, locker rooms, and new LED stadium lights. Included as part of these upgrades will be a new physical therapy/training room that will be used for the sports medicine program.
At South Pasadena Middle School (SPMS), the community will see construction of a field and hard court project starting in January of 2018. Designed for school and community use, the conceptual layout includes new tennis and basketball courts, a turf soccer field with cork infill and an asphalt running track around the perimeter, along with a new hard court play area and expanded grass field. The construction timeline is designed to move quickly so that the community at-large may begin to use the new facilities as soon as possible – likely by the summer of 2018.
Near the beginning of 2019, construction work on the SPMS old gym will begin. Community input and research drove the decision to repurpose the old gymnasium but keep the exterior intact. The interior space will be transformed into a visual and performing arts space along with a lab for the school’s robotics program. Lending planning foresight and artistic expertise, the South Pasadena District Arts Committee has been and will continue to be involved in the planning of instructional spaces within this new building. This project is expected to continue through 2019 with students beginning to use the space near the end of that year.
The planning process for all school construction projects requires approval from the Division of the State Architect (DSA) within the Department of General Services. This organization grants approvals to projects under its jurisdiction by looking at Title 24 compliance as well as requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, structural analysis, and environmental standards. DSA’s oversight for structural safety of school facilities is governed by the provisions of the Field Act contained in the California Education Code sections 17280, et. seq. for K-12. The District is working with SVA Architects on all planning and Balfour Beatty as construction manager for its bond projects.
Phases two, three and four of the Measure SP Bond construction will begin near the end of 2019, continue into 2025, and include major preservation and restoration of the historic middle school auditorium, replacement of all portable classrooms at the elementary schools and renovation of the District office. The SPHS auditorium building will be renovated with new lighting, sound equipment and air conditioning among other projects.
South Pasadena voters passed Measure SP in November 2016 by a three-to-one margin. The measure provides funds for campus improvements at all five of SPUSD’s schools.