Wearing a hard hat and smile, South Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Geoff Yantz liked what he saw this week as he toured the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math building at the local high school.
The year-long project, consisting of six classrooms, four science labs, a flex lab, conference room, restrooms, and locker room for the girls’ softball team, is nearly complete.
What did he see as he walked through the site in the middle of campus along Diamond Avenue, across from the school’s two gymnasiums?
“I saw a lot of people working hard,” said Yantz, who has reason to grin knowing the long-awaited project, which was in the talking and now construction stage for nearly 10 years, is about to become a reality.
The doors to the building are projected to officially open for students in early January when the second semester begins following the school’s winter break.
That’s when the real celebration will begin. Until then, Yantz and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Dave Lubs, whose job is to oversee the project, will continue to monitor its progress.
“They’re coming around to the finish line,” said Yantz of the work crew putting in long hours, adding that the recent rain could slow up construction a bit “and cause some difficulty.”
Yet, he said the weather shouldn’t interfere with the projected completion date. South Pasadena High students return to campus January 8 following a two-week closure of the school.
“We’re scheduled to move in over the winter break,” explained Yantz, noting that the building “will allow us to maximize scheduling options for kids within the area of science and will eliminate the need for our science teachers to share classrooms from one period to the next. They will now have dedicated spaces for science instruction.”
Construction is being funded from Measure SP, the local $98 million bond measure passed by South Pasadena voters in November 2016.
“This is the most substantial project, the largest, using Measure SP funds,” explained Yantz. “It’s a project the (school) board had started discussing about 10 years ago, talking about the need and now it’s being accomplished.”