2/12/20: Progress Report on Construction of STEAM Building, Work Planned for the February 2020 Break

February 12, 2020

On February 12, 2020, Measure H1 Program Manager Pete Palmer gave a construction update to the Board of Education, including milestones between now and completion of the new $31.1 million STEAM building, which is expected in early August.  Palmer also described the measures in place to ensure that the STEAM project remains on schedule. This report to the Board is summarized below.

The District has completed the structural components of the STEAM building, a critical milestone, and the State agency that oversees public school construction has signed off on these structural elements.  The District is now completing the roof structure and enclosing the building in large white panels that will temporarily water-proof the building. This water-proofing will make it possible to install wiring, duct work, sheet rock, and other internal components that cannot be exposed to moisture.  The white panels have already been installed on the south side of the building, facing the Quad and Student Center, and will wrap around to cover the east side next, then the north side, and finally the west side to fully enclose the structure. The contractors and subcontractors are hitting every milestone.

There are weekly meetings to keep the STEAM project on schedule for completion for the start of the 2020-21 school year.  These meetings include a six-week look-ahead to discuss key milestones to keep all work areas on track. Also, there is a master schedule that is reviewed weekly, to ensure the proper sequencing of tasks.  Some of the contractors have been working 10-hour days and some Saturdays to keep on schedule. The Magnolia neighbors have been understanding, patient, cooperative, and supportive during the construction.

The sequencing of work is critical to timely completion.  For example, interior work in the STEAM building will start on the second floor, followed by the third floor, then the first floor, and finally the basement, because there are 50 workers and the crews can’t be on top of each other.

The District expects that the State will do final code compliance and safety inspections and issue a certificate of occupancy for the STEAM building at the end of July.  Once the certificate of occupancy is issued, furniture and equipment can be moved in.

Also this summer, the District will be doing site work, landscaping, and repaving some of the street and sidewalk near the STEAM building.  At the same time, the District will empty and tear down the 10s building, completing the noisy and dusty demolition work before staff return to campus on August 7.  Classes will start on August 11.

To accommodate all of this work, the entire high school campus will be closed this summer.  If possible, drivers avoid the part of Magnolia near the high school campus. It may be necessary to close part of Magnolia for a few days, and the District will notify the community about any closures.

Facilities improvements planned for the February break that are unrelated to the STEAM building include installation of new climate-control equipment at Havens.  This installation will start over the break and be completed this summer. Also in February, the District will begin painting the interior of the Piedmont High School 20s building.  This painting, too, will be completed this summer.