Because of the expanding student body, growing 11 percent in the past six years, the school invested in a remodel to accommodate the growing community.
Construction began with the demolition of the portables in the 500 wing in the 2019-20 school year, which will be replaced by a two-story classroom building made up of academic classrooms, as well as space for the life skills program. Additionally, the current outdoor basketball courts will be replaced with a single story building, due to its close proximity to the property line, for the STEAM program.
Assistant superintendent Mike Mathiesan oversees construction and was involved in the project’s planning.
“This is an exciting project to get under way, so after a lot of planning it is fun to actually see shovels hit the ground,” Mathiesen said. “As any construction project, it will be disruptive with a few annoyances here and there, but we are excited about the end result.”
While the construction is two to three months behind schedule, according to Mathiesan, the new wing is set to be completed in 18-20 months with all construction supposedly ending within three years, the amount of time the portable classrooms can last on temporary foundations.
After the completion of these new classroom wings in January of 2021, the construction will focus on a project called the Student Services building. This addition will house counseling, administration, and mental health therapists as well as the college and career center, spaces for students to study, and a new cafeteria.
This is an exciting project to get under way, so after a lot of planning it is fun to actually see shovels hit the ground
The plan is to have enough new classrooms built so that the current classes held in the portables will be able to move into the new buildings, with space left over to move classrooms 201-208 into the new building too. Counseling and Administration will then be moved into the portable classrooms on the field.
Daniella Quinones, the new assistant principal in charge of facilities, said that we are one of the fastest growing school districts and “we have simply outgrown our space.”
While the start of the construction has been great for expanding the campus to fit the growing student body, it has come with some challenges. Students have had some concerns regarding the distance between the portables and their other classrooms.
“I come from the portables twice a day, from portables to the 600 wing so I walk into physics late almost everyday,” Senior Olivia Byun said. “Oftentimes, when the bell rings, I am still packing up my stuff, so it takes me a while to get from the portables all the way to the other side of the school.”
Additionally, the side entrance to MVHS has been blocked off on the field, causing a revision of fire drill protocol. Training was given at the beginning of the year to show teachers their new positions during fire drills, and a new location was added on the tennis courts.
Construction can always face setbacks and challenges, but will bring a positive opportunity of growth to the school.
“I think they probably should have started construction a few years back had they anticipated the growth of the freshman class, but I think it was a good choice and beneficial overall,” Byun said.