California High School Completes Addition and Modernization of its 48-Year-Old Campus

Feb. 9, 2009

McCarthy Building Companies Inc. of Newport Beach, CA, recently announces the completion of the new La Mirada High School classroom building and administration modernization projects.

The La Mirada High School expansion is one of three high school additions completed or underway as a part of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District (NLMUSD) Measure S School Facility Improvement Program. Construction for the new classroom building and modernization of the administration building was completed in June 2008. Students were welcomed into the new classrooms when school started in September 2008.

Funded through the district's $165 million Measure S bond approved by voters in November 2002, construction of the $8.7 million expansion was phased over 23 months on the busy La Mirada High School Campus.

Designed by Dougherty + Dougherty Architects of Costa Mesa, the new two-level classroom building at La Mirada High School adds 23,880 square feet of space to the existing campus. Located along the south end of the high school, the new wood-framed building with a light and dark blue-gray plaster skin is the most visible structure when driving into the high school campus. The crescent-shaped building houses 18 classrooms within four distinct structures that are all connected by open air breezeways. Three courtyard areas on the building’s north side feature landscaping and planter seating where students can relax and gather between classes.

In support of the new district-wide science program, the new building houses six new science classroom containing peninsula-like lab stations to accommodate students in their experiments, learning and research. The ADA-compliant labs feature built-in casework, fume hoods, epoxy-resin chemical resistant countertops, sinks, gas, power and high speed data connections. A separate science project preparation area for teachers and assistants was built between the classrooms, and energy efficient direct/indirect lighting is incorporated throughout the new building.

The project also included a 1,316-square-foot modernization of the school’s administration building. Construction entailed converting an existing, open atrium in the center of the building into new office space.

Prior to starting the high school expansion, renovations of the existing building on the La Mirada High School were finishing up and completed for the September 2006/2007 school year. The modernization included “gutting” the interiors of the existing building and installing new flooring, wall, and ceiling finishes. Additional improvements included new lighting, electrical, data, telephone, clock/bells, fire alarm, Cable TV, and energy management systems as well as new heating and air conditioning units in all of the classroom and ancillary spaces.

“The students and teachers at La Mirada High School are excelling in the added classroom, science lab, and support space provided by the Measure S Expansion project,” says NLMUSD Superintendent Ginger Shattuck. “The Measure S renovations and expansions have provided the students in our district with modern, efficient, and comfortable learning environments that offer a more enjoyable educational experience and will surely aid them in their future academic pursuits.”

Operating as program and construction manager, McCarthy’s contract with NLMUSD includes planning, preconstruction, bid activities and management of scheduling and construction for the district-wide school facility modernization and expansion program.  Since 2003, McCarthy has completed more than 20 school modernization projects and two expansion projects for NLMUSD. The last Measure S project is expected to complete in early 2010.

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