In preparation for building the foundation of the new 20,000 square foot Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) building at South Pasadena High School, dirt is currently being excavated and compacted on site, where the earthwork stage of construction is in full swing. According to a monthly Measure SP project update by contractor Balfour Beatty, the building design calls for “over excavation of at least 15 feet to the existing grade and compaction to the bottom of the new footing elevations.”
Demolition and grading for the building was begun on Nov. 6. South Pasadena Unified Superintendent Dr. Geoff Yantz expects the earthwork phase to be completed by mid-January, at which point the foundation for the complex can begin. Completion of the two-story story structure, set to include classrooms, labs, restrooms and a teacher conference room, is on track for spring of 2019. Bungalow classrooms holding teachers forced to move by the construction process will remain on the east end of the recreation field next to the demolition site until the building is completed.
Conceptual plans for renovating the high school’s athletic complex, located across the street from the new STEM building, were recently approved by the Board of Education with anticipated submission to Division of the State Architect (DSA) in the 2nd quarter of 2018.
The modernization effort is expected to include plans for a new gym floor, a larger sports medicine lab, a film room, two completely new tennis courts on the upper level accompanied by lights for night use, and new LED lights on the football field. The LED lights will be more energy efficient than the current lights and their brightness will help remedy the existing dark spot on the south side of the field.
The swimming facility, upgraded as recently as two years ago, will not be affected by the project, nor will the baseball field. The baseball program, however, will benefit from the project as the batting cages next to the lower tennis courts are expected to be upgraded.
At South Pasadena Middle School, the first week of January will bring the start of construction for the field and hardcourt project that is set to include a synthetic turf field with cork infill, new tennis and basketball courts, an expanded lower natural grass field, improved ADA accessible ramps and hardscape, a drinking water station, and a storm water infiltration system. Balfour Beatty hopes a new vinyl dipped chain link fence around the perimeter of the field “will improve the security, longevity and aesthetics of the area,” according to its monthly newsletter.
The middle school project is set to be completed by June of 2018.
When school resumes on Jan. 9, construction will already be underway. Traffic along Rollin Street and Bank Street will be impacted.