A groundbreaking ceremony held at Samohi on Monday memorialized construction of the new Science and Technology Building and Site Improvements Project that is currently underway. The $55 million dollar project began in December 2011 and is anticipated to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The event included a project overview that identified points of interest on the construction site and brief speeches by School Board President, Ben Allen, and Measure BB Advisory Committee Member, Judith Meister. District staff attended to help celebrate the event, including Superintendent, Sandra Lyon, School Principal, Laurel Fretz, and Director of the Facility Improvements Office, Stuart A. Sam. Various team members who make the project possible, including the project manager, architect, and contractor, were also in attendance.
Associated Student Body (ASB) committee president, yearbook, and newspaper student staff members attended to interview guests and photograph the project and event. Documenting the project and event will give the student body, parents, and faculty an inside look at the project for years to come.
The new construction at Samohi is the largest project in the Measure BB program. The project includes removing the existing science and technology buildings and replacing them with one modernized building. The new building will house fifteen science labs, eighteen classrooms, a computer lab, two special education classrooms, auto shop, and I-house administrative offices. New science labs will be equipped with a variety of new amenities, such as, technology equipment, eye wash station, fume hood, energy efficient lighting, sustainable countertops, and a dishwasher for cleaning beakers.
Outdoor improvements include the reconfiguration of the north parking lot, a 6th Street vehicular ramp to access the lot, and a fifty-space bicycle parking area. The softball field will be relocated adjacent to the new building.
A new main entrance will be constructed at Seventh Street and Michigan Avenue. The Centennial Plaza, which will be constructed in conjunction with the new building, will create a gathering space for students during lunch, recess hours, and school events.
The Samohi construction project incorporates green technology and meets Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) criteria through natural lighting, natural ventilation, maximized energy efficiency, storm water treatment and reduced water use.
“As a Samohi alumnus, it is exciting to see this project move forward,” Sam said. “The updated science labs and auto shop will provide students knowledge and hands-on experience to excel in various related fields.”