south valley middle school demolition ioof murray avenue gilroy unified school district
An excavator chews into a classroom wing at South Valley Middle School on June 30, paving the way for the new campus at the corner of IOOF and Murray avenues. Photo: Erik Chalhoub
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Many of the nondescript white, green and yellow buildings along IOOF Avenue where, for nearly seven decades, countless Gilroyans have learned life skills within their walls have been reduced to rubble.

With students out on summer break, construction crews took the next step in South Valley Middle School’s modernization project by demolishing sections of the classroom wings over the past week.

Meanwhile, on the northern end of the campus, crews have made considerable progress on the bulk of the new campus. Many of the classroom buildings have been erected, and expect to welcome students in time for the start of the new school year while the rest of the campus is being built out.

The $90 million project on the Gilroy Unified School District’s oldest campus broke ground in August 2021, shortly after work wrapped up on a similar modernization project at Brownell Middle School.

The campus will include six classroom pods, with one designed specifically as a science lab, in addition to integrated outdoor learning spaces, a new administration building, media center, kitchen and more. The main entrance to the school will be shifted from its current spot on the narrow IOOF Avenue to Murray Avenue, with a designated 450-foot-long drop off area and more than 100 parking spaces.

The quad will be designed in the shape of a tiger’s paw, paying homage to the school’s mascot.

Aedis Architects is the design firm, while Flint Builders is the contractor, both of which were involved with the Brownell project.

During the GUSD Board of Education meeting on June 16, Director of Facilities Paul Nadeau said over the past month, crews have installed the turf for the tiger paw quad, have installed carpet in some of the classroom buildings, poured concrete for the outdoor learning environments and paved the perimeter fire road.

“It’s coming along great,” he said. “Right now they’re so busy on site.”

Construction is expected to wrap up in late 2023. 

The current South Valley Middle School campus was built in the mid-1950s as Gilroy High School.

south valley middle school demolition ioof murray avenue gilroy unified school district
South Valley Middle School students will move into the new classrooms on the northern end of the campus during the start of the 2022-23 school year. Photo: Erik Chalhoub
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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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