Construction on CHS campus almost done

Construction on CHS campus almost done

Since the $20 million Phase II of Christopher High School
construction kicked off more than a year ago July 10, 2010, it’s on
track to cross the finish line in less than a month. Full
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Since the $20 million Phase II of Christopher High School construction kicked off more than a year ago July 10, 2010, it’s on track to cross the finish line in less than a month.

CHS Principal John Perales confirmed the first floor of the new humanities building will be ready by Aug. 3, followed by the second floor Aug. 8. As for the brand new competition pool designated for CHS athletics, he’s planning on taking an inaugural dip Aug. 12.

“They’re actually looking to begin pumping water into the pool in a couple of weeks,” he said. “We’re looking good. I’m happy that it’s as far along as it is, and that it’s on time.”

When all is said and done, CHS will boast an aquatic center with an 8,685-square-foot competition pool holding 517,710 gallons water, a 5,863-square-foot activities pool holding 78,391 gallons of water and a 52,000-square-foot parking lot adjacent to the aquatic center that can hold roughly 250 cars. The activities pool will be available for public use and is a joint venture between CHS and the City of Gilroy. Designed for wading and playing around, this family-friendly attraction will have interactive splash features and is only 3.5 feet at its deepest.

Phase II also includes Wing E – a 57,000-square-foot humanities building with a student capacity of 900. It will have an elevator and house 35 classrooms where subjects such as social studies, English, foreign languages and digital media will be taught.

Perales says construction crews are in the final stages of laying down flooring, painting and finishing up restrooms in Wing E. The competition pool is still awaiting cement decking and the final finish on the bottom, the activities pool is having play equipment and waterslides assembled, and the administrative and restroom areas located adjacent to the pools are also nearing completion.

Project Superintendent Mike Simanek of Swinerton Builders in Silicon Valley, also responded to inquiries sent to the Dispatch pertaining to a certain pipe that is continuously pumping water on the pool construction site.

Simanek explained the pipe leads away from the pool and into a storm drain, and is part of a common dewatering precaution that continuously circulates natural groundwater into the nearby creek system. The water then travels through layers of gravel around the area and eventually returns to the same location, he said.

As the competition pool is being built within an existing water table that fluctuates between 11 to 13 feet, “the purpose of pumping out the water is to prevent hydrostatic pressure from building underneath the pool,” Simanek said.

Once the pool is filled, Simanek said it will no longer be necessary to pump groundwater away from the site, and the apparatus will be removed.

He added electricity costs roughly $3 a month to run the pump.

Simanek explained it would not feasible to use the natural ground water for irrigation purposes at CHS, as this would require extra storage tanks and a much larger pump to supply the pressure necessary for irrigation.

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