Three schools move closer to getting a face lift.
Modernization projects at three of the Hart District’s oldest schools moved a step forward Wednesday evening when the District Governing Board approved selection of architects to begin work on the first phase of work at Hart High School, Placerita and Sierra Vista junior high schools.
The Board directed district staff to develop a detailed plan which would expand on a staff proposal to carry out the modernization projects in three phases, which will eventually total nearly $104 million.
Phase I at Hart High School would include major renovation of seven existing classroom buildings, affecting 47 classrooms, at a cost of close to $10 million. The modernization would include replacing ceilings, light fixtures, floor coverings cabinets and furniture; repair or upgrade electrical, plumbing and fire alarm systems; paint inside and out and install teaching walls, the whiteboard storage units which have become standards in new Hart District schools.
In addition, the Board directed staff to consider construction of a new classroom/science building, allowing removal of some portables and increasing student parking spaces. The new building, which was originally proposed as part of Hart High School’s Phase II modernization, would likely increase the Phase I costs to the $20 to $25 million range.
At Placerita Junior High School, Phase I modernization would include renovation of the library and administration buildings, plus classroom buildings 200, 300 and 800 through 1100. Phase I is projected to cost $5 million and modernize a total of 13 classrooms on campus.
Phases II and III for Placerita would include construction of a new classroom building, new library and administration building. The multipurpose room and gymnasium also would undergo extensive modernization. Total for all three phases is expected to be just over $24.7 million.
The first phase at Sierra Vista Junior High School will be devoted to bringing restrooms up to disabled access standards and replacing the school’s aging fire safety systems. The school was designed with 13 small restrooms and all must be brought up to ADA standards to qualify for state funding. Phase I is estimated to cost close to $5.6 million.
Phase II and III are expected to include renovation of all the remaining classroom buildings, remodeling of the small gymnasium and multipurpose room, and construction of a new Building 600, library and administration building. Total cost for all three phases is projected at $30.8 million.
Both Hart High and Placerita Junior High have undergone state-funded modernization in recent years and would have to rely on Measure V and other local funding sources for the construction projects. Sierra Vista Junior High is eligible for $5.6 million in state modernization funds, which must be matched by local funds.
“All of these modernization projects are in line with the modernization programs now underway or nearing completion at Canyon and Saugus high schools and Arroyo Seco Junior High,” explained Rob Gapper, the Hart District’s Chief Operations Officer. “When we modernize a classroom building, we strip it down to the bare walls and completely rebuild it from the inside out. It’s just like a new room when we get through.”
He added that much of the new construction would be two-story buildings, a new trend in Hart District schools which allows for better use of the existing site. The district has been looking at modular construction as a way of reducing costs and speeding the construction of new projects.
The District Governing Board this week approved the selection of architects Flewelling & Moody to start design of the Hart High modernization, PSWC for Placerita Junior High and HMC for Sierra Vista.
The architects are expected to conduct a detailed survey of each school site, work with staff to identify specific instructional needs, complete detailed drawings, assemble specifications and bid documents, and serve as construction administrators during Phase I of each project.
The three architects will start design work immediately, and Gapper expects to bring back more detailed project plans at the May 16 Governing Board meeting.