Measure SP Bond Construction Underway

The STEM building at South Pasadena High School is one of many projects benefited by the bond. Photo by Nancy Lem

South Pasadena Unified School District construction projects paid for by the Measure SP Bond are humming along, several of which have now been completed. The total bond amount is $98 million and $81.5M remains to fund additional projects, according to SPUSD Bond Construction Coordinator Allison Anderson. The projects were targeted by the SPUSD board and are to be completed over the next 10 years.

The completed projects include a new $1.26 million roof and HVAC upgrades for Marengo Elementary School and a new $2.3 million playing field and hard court for South Pasadena Middle School. Additionally, South Pasadena High School received a lighting retrofit to LED which was Prop 39-funded and not part of Bond Measure SP.

“These improvements help fulfill the promise of Measure SP, approved overwhelmingly by the community in 2016,” according to SPUSD Board President Jon Primuth. “Our students are getting better, safer and more comfortable facilities and more suitable recreational spaces.”  

Currently under construction within the district is a new $13 million STEM building for South Pasadena High School, which is on track for student occupancy beginning Jan. 8, 2019 and is expected to come in under budget, according to Anderson. The ribbon cutting and open house is set for January, pushed back from December due to weather.

“The board is very excited to put these new science labs in service and get our high school math classes out of the 1990s bungalows they were in before,” said Primuth. “Plus, we have a flex lab for additional science classes and dedicated storage for the softball program. Can’t wait for the ribbon cutting next month.”

Next year, the middle school’s old gymnasium will start to be repurposed. The district is currently in the approval phase for the project with the state Division of Architects and hopes to break ground in the spring, according to Primuth.

“We are moving forward with our long-in-development repurposing of the middle school gym to a beautiful art lab, black box theater, and engineering/robotics classroom,” said Primuth. “Structurally, the old gym has lots of issues, but we believe our architect has come up with a great design to preserve the architectural style while modernizing the inside.”

Also to start next year in November will be a major renovation of the high school’s PE and athletics facilities, according to Primuth. The project will include the modernization of locker rooms, training rooms, visitor bleacher stands and ball courts.

“This will give our athletics program vastly improved facilities and amenities,” Primuth shared.