By Vivienne Tran and Emma Williams
On June 17, construction of a new Performing Arts Center Building and STEM Building will begin. The current Emily Gates Student Center will be completely demolished, with the new performing arts center built from scratch during the 2019-2020 school year.
The new Performing Arts Center Building will be 7,800 square feet, accommodating approximately 250 seats. Inside will be a green room, classroom support spaces, a lobby, a ticket booth and restrooms. The target completion date is early 2021.
The new STEM Building will replace the aging classroom portables known as the 600 building. Quatricchi Kwok Architects designed this new building for San Marin. Their plan includes a total of 18,000 square feet featuring student break-out spaces, demonstration areas and staff support spaces. The building will also include two
biotechnology classrooms and labs, along with a positive pressure clean room. This project is targeted for completion in fall of 2020.
The implementation of both buildings are part of the Measure G Bond project. Both buildings will be constructed at the same time, causing the entire center of campus to close. The entrance to the back parking lot will be closed off during construction, and only construction trucks will be allowed to enter. The 600 portables and student center area will be fenced off. During the school year, the administration’s tentative plan is to allow students to access the classrooms in the 700 building through one or two walkways.
“For safety purposes, it’s bad to mix heavy duty construction equipment, dirt and all the other things and have student traffic going back and forth,” Principal Mark Sims said.
Teachers currently located in the area that will be under construction will have to pack up the contents of their classrooms to be put into storage once the school year ends. Currently, the blacktop above the football field is home to three teachers in portable classrooms: health teacher Cory Boyd, social studies teacher David Krakora and resource
teacher John Sanderbeck. Five more portable classrooms will be added to the blacktop for the teachers relocated from the construction area. During the 2019-2020 school year, the mini gym will hold drama classes. Athletic Director Dennis Davis has coordinated with the cheerleading coaches to ensure that both programs will not need to use the mini gym at the same time. The administration plans to hold the fall play at Novato High School’s theater if possible, and any spring drama performances will be held off-site.
“It’s a year of frustration and disappointment, unfortunately, but it can’t be done in just two months,” Sims said. “It’s disappointing, but it’s going to be great and sometimes we have to do our thing for the future Mustangs.”