Walls come down for continued STEM Lab renovation
Demolition makes way for planned second phase of construction
Out with the old to make way for the new.
A large portion of the remaining STEM Lab building, once Northeast Junior High, came down in July to make way for Phase II of the two-year renovation and reconstruction project.
The process got under way in early July as demolition contractors used large backhoes to nibble away at the edges of the west side of the building as they demolished a previous building expansion constructed in 1992. With that initial demolition out of the way, the focus turned to tearing down the recognizable, two-story concrete building constructed as part of the original building in 1971. By the end of the month, the building was reduced to a pile of rubble.
The demolition will allow construction to start on a new 25,000-square-foot expansion that will connect the existing, remodeled building to another recently-added 25,000-square foot classroom expansion on the east side of the building. Phase II of the construction project is expected to be complete for the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Students and staff will squeeze into the remaining portion of the STEM Lab building for the coming school year while the new phase of construction takes place.
As the demolition process got under way, there was final work happening to prepare the remaining building for the new school year. Inside, classroom furniture was being delivered and set up in new classrooms. Outside, final site work was under way including the placement of the school's relocated playground.
The renovation and reconstruction project was identified as part of a $350 million school construction bond approved by voters in November 2016. When the school's renovation is completed for the start of the 2019-20 school year, it will allow enrollment to grow from 475 current students to an anticipated 720 students and provide more STEM-learning opportunities for students across the Five Star District.