With STEM Lab expansion steel in place, framing work begins

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 3:30pm

School in midst of two-year construction project

All structural steel is now in place for STEM Lab’s 25,000 square-foot east expansion and the focus shifted in November to enclosing the new learning space.

On the north side of the large expansion, roof decking is already in place and windows and door frames are now recognizable thanks to metal exterior stud framing. On the south side of the expansion, exterior framing had not begun as of late November but metal roof trusses have been lowered into place so roof work can start.

Inside the existing east wing of the building, the extensive demolition work of the summer is becoming a distant memory as new walls are built to make way for renovated classrooms.

STEM Lab is in the midst of a two-year renovation project to transform the 46-year-old building that once served as a district middle school into a high-tech learning environment geared toward the school’s STEM-focused curriculum.

The first phase of the $20 million-plus construction project, which remains on pace for a Summer 2018 completion, adds an expansion on the school’s east side and renovates remaining classrooms. The second phase, scheduled to begin in Summer 2018, will involve the demolition and reconstruction of the school’s west wing.

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.