As is clearly evident, construction has been occurring at Leigh, notably beginning with the replacement of the track in 2017 and continuing with the replacement of water fountains, a new front walkway, and the like. Such renovations have been occurring all around schools in Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD) due to the improvement bond Measure AA.
Measure AA, CUHSD’s improvement bond, passed almost 2 years ago on Nov. 8, 2016, giving the district enough funding to begin district-wide construction and improvement. The CUHSD website explains, “This ten year plan for facilities improvement would occur from June of 2016 through 2025…Over 375 million dollars of need has been identified in order to accomplish the projects identified.”
According to the CUHSD master plan of the project, the gym is due to be improved and a covered walkway will be added, although that will occur in 2019. Currently scaffolding and fences are set up outside the gym; workers are in the process of installing air-conditioning units and re-tarring the roof.
This project was the cause of the fire alarms on August 28– the thermal sensors of the building detected the heat absorbed by the tar and set off the entire fire alarm system.
Construction on the two-story building, which is set to bring 10 new classrooms to Leigh, began this past June. Its foundation is set to be laid down on September 5, which will cause some traffic issues as concrete trucks will be going through the center of Leigh Avenue. However, once this is completed, the workers are then free to assemble the building.
“The workers will be putting up the walls from September 11 to 15. They’ll bring in a huge crane to erect them, but it will only happen from 4pm to midnight due to obvious safety concerns,” said Kara Butler, principal of Leigh High School. “We’ve already warned the neighbors, so hopefully it won’t cause too much disturbance. After that’s done, they’ll be starting the finish work–electricity, plumbing, etc–and that actually might be the noisiest part.”
The predicted finish date is this coming spring, but only if everything goes smoothly. In the words of Butler, “When it comes to construction, nothing ever goes according to plan.”
In addition to refurbishing various buildings and facilities, the renovations will include safety and technology upgrades. Security fencing was installed over the summer and eventually gates will be added, enclosing the entire school when hours are in session. During official school hours, students and visitors coming to Leigh in the middle of the day must go through the main office in order to enter the campus.
Keeping in mind California’s likelihood of earthquakes, seismic retrofitting will be added around Leigh; part of this will include eliminating some windows throughout the school.
“When [the district] did a test, it turns out that because Leigh has so many windows, it’s actually one of the least structurally sound schools,” Butler said. “So every summer starting next summer, two wings of the school will be remodeled at a time in order to fill up someone of the windows, providing more support for the roof and walls.”
Information about construction and renovation throughout the district can be found on the CUHSD website.