Courtesy of Bjorn Paige
A Look at Construction at SDA
September 9, 2016
Construction has eased forward this year at SDA, with small projects being completed and adding up to major changes on campus. The new two-story building in the middle of campus is on schedule to open in the fall of 2017, Principal Bjorn Paige said last week. Recent construction has resulted in improved WiFi, and new bells and clocks.
The structure currently being built will become two stories with 19 math and science classrooms and labs, surrounded by landscaping. As of Friday, workers had poured concrete and completed many of the interior structures, and were beginning to work on the exterior walls, Paige said.
When the science classes currently housed in the 50s move into the new building, the 50s building will be changed into a classroom and a culinary arts kitchen. Paige said construction for this will begin in summer 2017 and be completed by fall 2017.
A large hole in the ground to the west of the building will become a basin for storm runoff, also known as a bioretention basin. Another, smaller basin will be dug near the finance office. A wall near the bigger basin will be the canvas for a new mural on campus, depicting the 80-year history of San Dieguito, Paige said.
The wall will be taken down when the bioretention project is completed this December. Paige said that the school may keep pieces of the mural after it’s removed, but it will most likely be temporary.
“Think of it as an instillation piece that’s just going to last for a while,” he added.
Construction over summer also affected the bells on campus. A “low voltage project” to remove excess wiring resulted in a new system of bells, WiFi, and clocks. This led to the new bell sounds, which have garnered mixed reactions from students.
“I don’t like [the new bells]. They sound like when you walk into a store,” said junior Ruby Feeney.
“The new bells are annoying and funny, but I feel like they also kind of keep the spunky SDA spirit alive,” said junior Ava Lilie. She compared the new bells to the “constant” fire alarms last school year, saying they were “annoying, but nevertheless a part of our quirky school.”
More new construction is also in the works for the years to come. “If everything goes ahead as the [Prop AA] bond is projected… the next phase of construction would be a new classroom building in the southeast corner of campus,” he said.
That structure, Paige continued, would be two stories and built into the hillside upon which the Japanese classroom currently stands (on the near side of the 30s buildings). It would extend in an L-shape to the current science classrooms in the 20s, and also include a small parking lot across from the second floor, where the far 30s classrooms are currently.
The building would house 33 arts and humanities rooms, including “two big art studios” on the second floor. It would also have classrooms and more studios on the lower floor, Paige said.
Because it’s still in the “very preliminary stages” of planning, Paige said this future building wouldn’t be finished until at least 2019 or 2020.