New classrooms coming to local high schools

The local high school district is set to break ground this week on three classroom buildings, the largest of the Measure A bond projects passed in 2010. Twenty-four new classrooms will be spread among three buildings on the district's two main campuses in Mountain View and Los Altos -- should be ready by fall 2013.

The Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District announced April 30 that it had finalized a deal with a general trades contractor to oversee the construction of the three classroom buildings -- two at Mountain View High School and the other at Los Altos High School.

"It's great to have the largest component of the Measure A project ready to go," said Joe White, associate superintendent of business services with the district, who has been overseeing all Measure A expenditures. Work will begin May 7, and if all goes according to plan, will be finished right around the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Superintendent Barry Groves echoed White's enthusiasm. "We're really pleased that we're going to be starting," said Groves.

He said that the district expects significant growth over the next decade and that both schools will need more space to accommodate that increase.

At an estimated cost of $17.5 million, the project is the largest funded by the $41.3 million Measure A, which passed with 77 percent of the vote in June 2010. Previous projects have included installation of solar panels over the student parking lots at both high schools, as well as a new pool and weight room at Mountain View High School.

The plans call for 12 classrooms on each campus -- nine standard classrooms and 3 laboratory classrooms, White said. The MVHS lab classrooms will be used for science, while the LAHS lab classrooms will be used for art.

Two single-story buildings will be constructed on the MVHS campus -- one group of three labs and another group of standard classrooms. The buildings will line the northern edge of the campus and face Bryant Avenue.

All 12 classrooms on the LAHS campus will be contained within a two-story building, with three standard classrooms and three labs on the first floor, six standard classrooms on the second floor, and an open-air courtyard with benches in the center. The classrooms will be built in the middle of the campus, abutting the northeastern corner of the football field and the center field fence of the baseball diamond.

"These buildings were not only designed to provide state-of-the-art classrooms, but will also be sustainable," White said. "We are building to a minimum LEED Silver rating, which will ensure our classrooms are energy efficient, comfortable and built with techniques that are sustainable to the environment."


Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Awesome infrastructure investment, can't wait to see those labs when my kids get to MVHS.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Measure G (elementary bond) benchmarks: the high school is getting new built classrooms at about $700,000 per room. This is a mix of 1 and 2 story. If you use the lowest prices for the elementary classrooms, it's at least $500,000 (one/half million). So .. if you replace all the old modulars (62 or so) that's a 'good' $30 Million public investment. IF YOU THEN DEMOLISH 47-52 permanent classrooms (Facilities Plan line items and Site Plans) that's a "stinking waste" of more than $24 Million. That doesn't include the demolition and temporary housing expenses!
BLOATED SOW is a good term for how High Speed Rail bond ended up. BLOATED SOW is also an apt term for how the MEASURE G $423 Million 'Facilities Plan' is headed. {that is not a typo, they only have 1/2 the Facilities Plan Budget in Measure G)

- The frugal and fiscally prudent Joe White (MVLA) is not planning to demolish ANY permanent classrooms, no matter WHAT an architect may find profitable!

Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

This precisely the problem Friedman & Mandelbaum talk about in their
book. We spend far too much time lately arguing about the details that nothing gets done, or that the way things are is good enough as we slip further behind our competitors. It's not good enough, we can do much better, and measure G is just one step forward to make great schools even better.

Like this comment
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

James, have you ever engaged in 'benchmarking'? i.e. Compare your plans and returns to those of your "competitors" [or those doing the same type of job as you). The Measure G Plan gives a 1/4% Return on Investment ($500,000 / $200,000,000) and the High School District is getting almost 5 X that percentage. (more money for operations)
Joe White is controlling MVLA investments so we are not wasting investment $ in "demolition" of classrooms that can be strengthened/refurbished/reused for 1/5 the cost. Improving Walter's "Wish List" by cutting out architect fat is extremely 'competitive'. Come BACK in NOVEMBER with a $200 Million bond plan, without 47-52 classroom DEMOLITION!
Give us G opponents a break - we know about 62 modulars DO NEED to be replaced!!! We just don't want a High Speed Rail style bond problem.

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