Major Gilroy High School construction begins Monday

GILROY
– This summer’s jam-packed school construction lineup got off to
a running start when the school board awarded contracts totaling a
record $30 million in one fell swoop.
GILROY – This summer’s jam-packed school construction lineup got off to a running start when the school board awarded contracts totaling a record $30 million in one fell swoop.

At the end of a three-hour-long regular board meeting Thursday night, trustees approved spending $30,384,613 on six projects, most notably a new elementary school and major improvements to the high school.

Summer is always the busiest time of year for school construction. Last year, many campuses received modernizations of heating and air-conditioning systems, wiring, flooring and lighting. This year, the district has just over two full months to complete more modernization, along with other major projects, such as multi-purpose rooms for two elementary schools.

“We just have so many projects on line,” said Charlie Van Meter, the district’s director of facilities, planning and construction. “What we’re building is a brand new school and then we’re putting 10 million dollars of additions at the high school alone. That adds up to a lot of money real quick.”

The new Eliot Elementary School project was awarded to S.J. Amoroso Construction, of South San Francisco. The $11.2 million school will have 22 classrooms, 4 kindergarten classrooms, a multipurpose room, library/media center, administration offices and a kitchen. It will also include the district’s first two-story building, planned that way because of the small Seventh Street campus. S. J. Amoroso has built multi-story schools in San Jose, Van Meter said.

Eliot students moved out of their old school and into the new Ascencion Solorsano Middle School this year and should be in the new building by 2005.

Construction on Eliot – and the other projects awarded Thursday – will start next Monday, Van Meter said.

Most of the $30 million is coming from the district’s $69-million Measure I, passed in November, 2002.

Gilroy High School’s $10.2-million student center is another major two-year project that gets off the ground this summer. Dilbeck and Sons out of Salinas will build the center, which includes a multi-purpose room, kitchen and several conference rooms.

They also will complete two other projects this summer: expanding the existing library and bookroom at the north end of campus, making room for a computer lab, and re-building the aquatics building and restrooms.

Multi-purpose rooms at El Roble and Glen View elementary schools, costing $3.7 million and $4.1 million in Measure I funds respectively, will include kitchen facilities, stages, restrooms, library/media centers, computer labs and conference rooms. Both projects went to Kent Construction of Gilroy and include the demolition of a total 14 aging portable classrooms. The district is pursuing state grants of up to $1 million for each of the multi-purpose rooms.

Repairs to the South Valley Middle School quad and library – $450,000 – and a six-classroom building at Rucker Elementary School – $562,700 – were the final projects awarded Thursday.

Lori Stuenkel covers education for The Dispatch. She can be reached at 847-7158 or [email protected]

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