The giant steel beam twisted in the wind as the bright, red crane hoisted it high above Nogales High School in La Puente. Iron workers clambered up steel I-beams to guide the burly beam in place on the roof of the new two-story administration building.
This spring, work crews began to construct the new buildings that will completely change the face of Nogales High School. Eight-foot-tall metal letters will proudly proclaim the new Nogales.
Four new structures, as well as parking and entrance areas, will revitalize the school. The projected cost is between $30 million to $35 million, with a grand opening in the fall of 2015.
“It will be a beautiful campus when it’s finished,” said board member Lynne Ebenkamp. “We appreciate everyone’s patience during the construction. But the wait will be well worth it.”
Construction began almost two years ago, when contractors came in to install new utilities throughout the sprawling campus. Open trenches were the order of the day, but finally new electric, water, gas and sewers were safely underground.
Then, contractors began the process of remodeling the classrooms wings. After gutting the old buildings, work crews rebuilt them from the inside out. New walls and ceilings provide quiet, comfortable classrooms that save energy and lighting. A new digital infrastructure permits the latest technology for teachers and students.
Last year, demolition crews came in to raze the front of the school, bulldozing the administration building as well as several others. Hazardous materials contractors cleaned up any asbestos and other toxic substances.
Nogales High opened on Oct. 1, 1962. Over the past half-century, thousands of students have passed through its halls. But everyone agreed it was time for a makeover.
“The Rowland Unified School Board decided to use more than $20 million saved on its last bond issue to fix up the school,” said Ajay Mohindra, Rowland’s interim chief financial officer. Click HERE for entire story, photos and VIDEO.