The colorful new outdoor area provides an open space with interlocking pavers where students can create art outside the classroom. A special kiln enclosure contains two large kilns for firing ceramics.
The remodeled art classrooms are bright, light and airy, opening onto the art alley for easy student access and creating an art studio feel. The classrooms now have heat and air conditioning and offer abundant storage space through a combination of new cabinetry and recycled student lockers that double as table stands. Each classroom also features a large display wall to showcase student artwork.
“Now that we have this private patio and increased storage space we will be able to undertake large-scale projects using a wider variety of materials,” said Jessica Joy Guiragossian, Chair of the Santa Fe High School Art Department. “The new facilities enable us to teach a variety of lessons and projects and we’re unlimited as to what we can teach.”
With two kilns now at their disposal, Guiragossian said she and fellow art teachers are also looking forward to incorporating ceramics into classes such as Art I and the 3-D design class.
“It’s been awhile since we’ve worked with clay and we’re excited about the possibilities,” she said. “Our goal is to combine traditional art forms with new technology, balancing the old with the new.”
Guiragossian said the new outdoor space will also lend itself to special events where student artwork can be easily showcased.
At Santa Fe High, designs are also in the works to remodel the school’s administrative buildings and its library. The school’s general science classrooms will be modernized now that the new science building is up and running.
At California High School, the school’s old science buildings – DD, F and I – will be remodeled, starting with Building DD, which currently is under construction. New cabinets, counters, lab tables, wiring and Internet access are being installed. All of the general science classrooms are expected to be remodeled by April 2013.
Work is also underway to remodel the classrooms and restrooms in Cal High’s large gym. Air conditioning also will be installed. The gymnasium will be done in mid October and the entire project is planned to be completed by January 2013.
A design proposal has been submitted for a new entrance to the large gym off of the Hawes Street student parking lot. The new entrance will feature ramps for better access for the disabled, new benches and planters and lighting.
A shade structure for Cal High’s main quad is being installed this month and a similar structure will be installed on the main quad at La Serna High School.
Designs for the creation of four large new classrooms in Building M at La Serna High School have been completed and will be constructed as soon as a new Physical Education classroom building on the upper athletic field level is finished.
Site work for the new P.E. classroom building is underway. The building will provide more convenient athletic field access and much needed restroom facilities adjacent to the track. The project is expected to be completed in November.
In addition, pavers are being installed in an area near the small gym for improved walking access and to reduce mud and dust. The project includes improving access for the disabled and will be completed before school begins.
Pioneer High School will soon begin the district’s first major solar power program. Solar panels will be installed on the roof of the locker room building and will provide 30 kilowatts of electricity. During the winter, the solar panels will provide one-third of the school’s electricity and 20 to 25 percent of its power in the summer. The cost savings will be significant because the school will be reducing the need for electricity during the summer’s peak demand times.
By September, Frontier, Santa Fe, and Whittier high schools will benefit from the installation of upgraded classroom audio/video systems. The new systems provide such technological features as the ability to link the teacher’s computer to the classroom’s overhead projector. These systems have already been installed at California and Pioneer high schools.
Modernization of Whittier High School’s athletic fields is underway. The project includes installation of an all-weather track as well as new football, soccer, softball and baseball fields.
All new bleachers will be installed on the fields, providing plentiful seating for spectators. New dugouts and protective cages also will be installed. New irrigation systems for the fields will be installed as well.
The athletic fields will have more useable space as a result of the work that will be done. The project is expected to be completed in early October.
Currently, ramps are being built for better access for the disabled on the north and south sides of the Vic Lopez Auditorium. The south side ramps will connect the auditorium to the horseshoe quad area.
The next big project for Whittier High will be the much-awaited design and installation of an air conditioning system for the Vic Lopez Auditorium in 2013.
Modernization projects across Whittier Union’s campuses are made possible by funds from Bond Measure W which voters overwhelmingly approved in 2008 to improve campus facilities.