HMS Gym: Wait Till Next Year

Preliminary work has begun on the Barth Athletic Complex at Huntington Middle School, but the timetable for constructing the new gym has been pushed back one year, according to Dr. Alex Cherniss, superintendent of the San Marino Unified School District.
When an architectural firm unveiled concept designs for the $14 million complex last August, officials optimistically projected that demolition would begin as soon as the 2015-16 school year ended, with construction to commence this November.
But the process of getting shovels into the dirt on public school capital projects rarely moves along at a brisk pace.
This summer’s work will involve running a new water line from Huntington Drive to the site and installing fire hydrants, Cherniss reported. City Manager John Schaefer added that the work will result in partial road closures and limited access to the middle school parking lot, which also serves the San Marino Center and the Crowell Public Library, through Aug. 8.
The plans for the Barth Athletic Complex are awaiting approval by the Division of the State Architect, which oversees construction projects at California’s public schools.
“The DSA has been backlogged with projects,” Cherniss wrote in an email, “so while we submitted our plans in March, they were just assigned to a review team last week. Typically, it takes six months from the time plans are assigned to when they are DSA-approved.
“That will take us to December. Once we have approved plans, we bid the projects 1-2 months and then negotiate an agreement. This will take us to April/May.”
In the interest of not disrupting school and student activities during the coming school year, Cherniss continued, the district decided to postpone demolition of HMS’ multipurpose room until June 2017.

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