New math building nears completion at GHS

A rendering of Gilroy High's new math building.

In a concerted effort to capture equity among its two high school facilities as well as expand capacity for a growing population, Gilroy district officials have earmarked $14.5 million for a new two-story, 20-classroom mathematics building on its Gilroy High School campus.

The new quad project is well underway, with the foundation nearing completion on the back side of campus and the prefabricated modular building arriving later this month. It is the latest in a series of upgrades to the 750 W. 10th Street campus that represents district leadership’s continuing efforts to upgrade the 1978 Gilroy campus, on par with Christopher High School, built in 2009. An earlier facelift at Gilroy High occurred in 2012.

“This is one that is very dear to my heart. We’ve been working on this for some time,” said Gilroy Unified School District Supt. Deborah Flores, who is also part of the facilities subcommittee that made the recommendation for the new math building.

“We made a commitment to do everything we could at Gilroy High School to make it look like a new building. It’s a beautiful campus now,” she said.

The total cost is funded in part by Measure E ($4.7 million), proceeds from the sale of the Wren Avenue property ($8.3 million) and developer fees ($1.5 million), according to Assistant Supt. Alvaro Meza.

For more than two years, the facilities committee members, which also includes Meza, three school board trustees and other district staff, evaluated whether to add seven new portables to the 13 existing ones in the math quad or purchase a permanent structure. The move was essential to accommodate an estimated growth of 2,000 students in the Gilroy High School attendance boundary over the next decade, according to Flores.

“We need additional capacity. That’s what started the discussion,” said Flores, noting that the existing portables are nearly 30 years old and in poor condition so the decision was an easy one to go with a new math building. “This way we are replacing them and adding capacity at the same time.”

The committee chose the modular construction “in order to get the building up as fast as possible,” Flores added. While the foundation is put in on campus, the building is constructed off-site and then delivered to Gilroy High.

“The goal is to have it done by August so the teachers can occupy their new classrooms and the district can handle the increased student enrollment at Gilroy High School,” said Flores, who is also planning a late July grand opening ceremony for the two-story math building. “It’s thanks to the support of the Gilroy community that we were able to do this.”

The district began renovating Gilroy High School over the last five to six years, according to Flores. Some of the work done over that time includes a new science lab, new quad, new parking lot with solar, new track and field, new stadium bleachers, archway entrances in the front and back, redesigned drop-off area in the front of campus, and fresh paint inside and out.

“We’ve been renovating and rebuilding portions of the entire campus to bring it up to more equity with Christopher High School,” said Flores, noting the district plans to redo all of the blacktop area from the parking lot to the new building. “That’s the very last thing. It’s going to look like a brand new campus when we finish.”

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