GGUSD modernization is “80-85%” done

NEW CAFETERIA design for La Quinta and Pacifica high schools (GGUSD photo),

NEW CAFETERIA design for La Quinta and Pacifica high schools (GGUSD photo),

By Jim Tortolano

Modernization and other construction on campuses in the Garden Grove Unified School District are 80 to 85 percent completed, the Board of Education was told at its meeting Tuesday night.

Jerry Hills, assistant director of facilities, made a presentation on the progress of work financed in part by the Measure A bond issue approved by voters in 2010. In response to a question from Board President George West, the trustees were told that the work was “on time and on budget.”

GGUSDlogoHills outlined a wide variety of projects completed or underway. They included:

  • heating and air conditioning work at many campuses
  • seismic safety retrofitting and construction
  • compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act
  • drought-tolerant landscaping
  • campus security measures.

In the latter instance, all the high school and intermediate campuses will have “intruder alert” alarms. There are new physical education shower and locker rooms at Rancho Alamitos High School, and a new water retention basin has been built in the west (faculty) parking lot at Garden Grove High that will allow rainfall to go back into the underground water table.

Perhaps the most dramatically visible changes will be at Pacifica and La Quinta high schools, which were built in the mid-Sixties as what’s been described as “big boxes.”

AERIAL VIEW of the "new" Pacifica High campus (GGUSD).

AERIAL VIEW of the “new” Pacifica High campus (GGUSD).

Many of the classrooms will be replaced not only for earthquake safety reasons, but also to allow for better air quality. Instead of the previous design of one big structure with interior hallways, the new campuses will feature several wings with their own heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

The result will be a very different look for LQHS – located at McFadden Avenue and Ward Street in Westminster – and PHS – located at Knott Street and Lampson Avenue in Garden Grove.

“They will have a very modern look,” said Hills. “They won’t look like they were built” a half-century ago.

The last phase of construction should start in December, the board was told. During the summer, the GGUSD did about $1.3 million a day in construction. Even after the last phase is completed, the modernization and other upgrades may not be finished. Voters on Nov. 8 will decide on Measure P, another bond issue that would raise about $311 million for more work. The GGUSD serves most of Garden Grove and parts of Westminster and several other cities.

Leave a Reply