New Los Altos High School social studies building set to open in the fall

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY

Construction of Los Altos High School’s new two-story classroom building and auxiliary gym is set for completion this summer, and both spaces will open for students in the fall.

The social studies department, which is currently housed in portables, will occupy the two-story building upon completion. Associate Superintendent of Business Services Mike Mathiesen said that construction ideally will be completed by June, but may slip into July.

The project’s original timeline had set completion at around now — the spring of 2021 — but Mathiesen said that “some wet weather” in 2018 slowed construction.

He also said that the pandemic had no adverse impact on the project.

“It created some temporary challenges — once we got to interior work, there were limits on how many workers could be in an enclosed space [and] if there was a COVID-positive case, then any close contacts had to quarantine,” he said in an email. “COVID has created some shipping and supply chain challenges, but we are still on track for completion this summer.”

Administrative, counseling and office staff will occupy the portables left vacant by the social studies department to make way for the student services project — a two story building that will house administrative, counseling and wellness staff, as well as spaces for student leadership, a staff workroom and a student union space — which will require the demolition of the current administrative building and 100 wing.

Mathiesen said that demolition for the student services building will begin in late June or early July, meaning it’s possible that that could begin before the social studies building is completed; it’s all part of a “giant jigsaw puzzle,” he said.

Current plans set the timeline for construction of the student services building at about 20 months, spanning June 15, 2021, to Feb. 15, 2023.

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