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Board will ponder Sierra Vista modernization projects

Posted: March 30, 2009 11:17 p.m.
Updated: March 31, 2009 4:59 a.m.

The William S. Hart Union High School District board will decide Wednesday whether to green-light a $10.5 million modernization project at Sierra Vista Junior High School.

Approval of the reconstruction and remodeling project would make way for modernized classrooms equipped with technology that integrates computers, television and LCD projectors, Chief Operations Officer Rob Gapper said.

"We are making more efficient use of the square footage and classrooms and we are integrating a lot more technology in each of the instructional spaces," Gapper said Monday.

If the project is approved, Sierra Vista's eight classroom buildings, library and administration buildings will be renovated, he said.

"It's a pretty large project," Gapper said.

Sierra Vista's student and faculty restrooms also will be renovated, he said.

A chunk of the project involves upgrading the junior high school campus to make it handicapped-accessible. New air-conditioning and fire-alarm systems also would be added, he said.

Pending the board's approval of the $10.5 million construction contract, the first phase of modernization would start in May, Gapper said.

Funding stems from Measure V, a $158 million bond approved by local voters in 2001.

Gapper expects the first phase of construction at Sierra Vista to be complete by August 2010.

A second phase of construction using Measure SA funds would begin soon after, Gapper said.

That project would replace the relocatable classrooms with permanent classroom buildings, modernize the multi-purpose room, kitchen and gymnasium, Gapper said.

"Obviously (for) a school that was first built in 1965, it's time," Principal Randy Parker said.

The modernization will impact Sierra Vista's 1,000-plus students.

"I think the improvement will certainly be a morale booster, although I like to think we have really good morale," Parker said.

The project will bring a welcome boost in technology to the campus.

"One of the things we're really missing here is we don't have a cable connection to all of our classrooms," Parker said.

Once completed, the school will form a video lab so that students can broadcast campus news to students in their classrooms, he said.

The first round of district modernization involved Arroyo Seco Junior, Canyon and Saugus high schools.

The district is currently working on modernization projects at Placerita Junior, Sierra Vista Junior and Hart High School.

Once finished, "we should be in pretty good shape," Gapper said.


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