10/23/19: Project Updates, Summer 2019 Work, Student and Staff Surveys, Parking and Traffic on Magnolia Avenue


TO: Board of Education
FROM: Randall Booker, Superintendent
Michael Brady, Measure H1 Program Manager
DATE: October 23, 2019


Project Updates

The District’s contractor, Overaa Construction, is making steady progress on the new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) building. Construction remains on schedule, with STEAM building completion expected in August 2020, and Performing Arts Center/New Alan Harvey Theater building completion expected in the Fall of 2021.

Overaa is in the process of completing the STEAM building foundation and installing the structural steel framing for the three-story building. When completed, the building will include:

  • 6 science labs
  • 4 computer science labs
  • 1 engineering lab with an indoor/outdoor patio
  • 7 general classrooms
  • 2 art rooms with indoor/outdoor patios

The building has a highly reinforced foundation, because of the site’s specific geologic conditions and proximity to the Hayward Fault. The foundation is anchored to the bedrock below with rock anchors, bolts, and rods that extend 30-40 feet into the ground. Nearly 400,000 pounds (200 tons) of rebar will reinforce the finished structure, not including the steel beams that frame the building.

The next phase of the project involves enclosing the structure and making sure it is water-tight before the rainy season begins.

After the STEAM building is completed this summer, science, computer science, art and mathematics classes will relocate from the “20s,” “30s,” and “40s” buildings into the new building. Students who are currently in 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade will be taking classes in the new building next year.

After the STEAM building is completed, the classrooms and offices located in the “10s” building will relocate to the “20s” and “30s” buildings and the “10s” building will be demolished. Demolition of the “10s” building will be completed before the start of the 2020-21 school year.

The new Performing Arts Center will be built on the site of the “10s” building, with completion expected in the Fall of 2021. Students who are currently in 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th grade will be attending assemblies and performances (if not Acting classes) in that building in two years. The building will include a new 487-seat Alan Harvey Theater, a Green Room, dressing rooms, and drama classroom/small performance space.

Summer 2019 Work

On September 11, 2019, the District presented a slideshow of the construction progress during the Summer of 2019, and this can be seen here.

In addition to building the STEAM foundation, the main summer work included re-routing and installation of underground utilities for both the STEAM and Performing Arts Center buildings. This included rerouting of sewer, storm, fire sprinkler, power, water, gas and data/fiber/fire alarm lines and the relocation of the central Fire Alarm Control Panel. The underground utilities work for both buildings is now completed. The summer work also included installation of new, highly-energy-efficient climate control systems in the PHS Library building, making it possible to retire an old boiler that was well beyond its useful life.

The District had an ambitious schedule for the summer underground utilities work, which required an open trench through the PHS breezeway. The District had to complete this work, close the trench, and pave the breezeway before staff and students returned to campus. There were a range of unexpected challenges that put additional pressure on the schedule. For example, the poor condition of existing pipe and valves made it impossible to connect to the new utilities, so the District replaced all of the deteriorated pipes and valves. A previously undetected void under the PHS breezeway made it necessary to demolish, regrade, and repave the entire breezeway. Also, staff encountered and had to relocate or work around previously unknown underground structures and utilities.

Student and Staff Surveys

For the first few months this school year, students and staff have the opportunity to test and provide feedback concerning prototype furniture for the STEAM building. Last year, the District did something similar in the new computer room in the “30s” building, testing both the furniture and the room configuration. The District surveyed the students and staff who used the new room, and used that feedback to refine plans for the STEAM building. This year, the prototype furniture is in room 32 in the “30’s” building. Principal Adam Littlefield’s STEAM building advisory committee will participate in this review as well.

Parking and Traffic

Parking and traffic along Magnolia Avenue near the active construction site continue to be a concern. For the next two years, the District strongly encourages drivers to avoid Magnolia if possible. Families seem to be adjusting well to the parking and traffic changes near the middle and high schools, but the District will continue to send occasional reminders about using alternative routes.


Review and discuss the Measure H1 program updates.