The San Ramon Valley High School (SRVHS) modernization construction project is coming along well, according to school district staff, and thus far is on track to being completed on schedule next summer.
Currently, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s largest capital improvement project, modernization efforts at the high school primarily focus on the building of new parking spaces, a revamped quad area and a large three-story building for various school facilities.
“This is a 52-classroom building, Stone Valley (Middle School) is 28, this is 105,000 square feet and Stone Valley was 65,000 square feet," said Daniel Hillman, director of facilities development. "So this is a much larger building in both scope and scale. There are a lot of design features here with a lot of design intent.”
The San Ramon Valley modernization is the largest project funded through Measure D, the $260 million school facilities bond passed by district voters in November 2012.
The approximately $64 million endeavor was initiated in order to remove and replace 45 single-story class spaces with a larger number of classrooms and laboratories in a new three-story building that will offer more square footage, consolidated into a smaller footprint.
Three stories worth of classrooms, administrative offices, a student leadership center and other facilities will be distributed throughout the roughly C-shaped building that is divided into three wings, unofficially referred to as North, West and South currently.
Classrooms will have a standard size of approximately 960 square feet apiece, with specialty classrooms for science, the arts, electives and special educations services scattered throughout the building.
In the north wing on the third floor, SRVHS will have science classrooms with electives such as art and culinary courses on the first, in addition to the student leadership resource center. Special education classrooms will be located in the South wing in addition to standard ones and the West wing will hold administrative offices and regular classrooms.
A large entryway and revamped quad area will be located in the center of the complex, dividing the three wings.
“It's an expensive project, but my goodness look at what we are going to get here, it's well worth it,” assistant superintendent Gary Black said.
An aspect undersold during the project's original planning sessions is, in Black’s words, the spectacular views that will accompany classrooms in the new building.
“With the old layout one of the things you could not do as an administrator on campus was stand in one place and see the majority of the school grounds. You will be able to do that now when we are done,” Hillman added.
The third floor of the complex boasts expansive views of the surrounding areas that are highlighted by a prominent feature of the project: the bridge on the east side of the building connecting the north wing with the south. At its current stage of construction the bridge is open to the elements, but will be encased in glass when the project is completed.
For security purposes, the new building will also be equipped with a Tier I fence system separating the building from the parking lot and the blocking off the building's entryway.
“The building will have full perimeter fencing, we don't want students, or anyone else for that matter, accessing the building after hours so there is a wrought iron fence that will be put up,” Hillman said. “It still will allow entrance to the building during normal business hours but it will be able to be cordoned off so no one can access it when they're not supposed to.”
Additionally administrators will be able to lock the gates during “lock out” situations.
One of the last aspects of the project to be completed summer 2019 will be the removal of the school's 50 or so portable classroom units, which currently house roughly half of the total student population. These portables will be replaced with about 200 ground-level parking spots behind the new building off of the west end of the campus.
“You will have parking from the building all the way to the Iron Horse Trail,” Hillman said. “It is a massive expansion of parking for this campus -- if you know this town and you know this campus, that is ginormous.”
The modernization project broke ground May 16 of last year, and at current rates of production is expected to be completed on schedule early August 2019.
“The school was in need of an upgrade I remember it not being very hospitable,” said Jerome Pandell, facilities oversight and advisory committee chairman. “These schools were definitely due for renovation and remodel.”