By Jacob Wilson/Garden Grove Journal
“The schools will be transformed,” said District Superintendent Richard Tauer.
This spring, Johnson and Warner middle schools will begin major renovations. Both campuses will get a new gymnasium, a new library and a new exploration building, as well as campus upgrades.
Stacey Middle School will also get a new exploration building. Stacy will get a gymnasium and library as part of a future project that is still awaiting funding.
Exploration buildings are two stories and feature a creative studio and science labs. The creative studio includes a technology zone for digital arts and a crafts corner for more hands-on based projects.
The gymnasiums can also be used as multi-purpose rooms for performances or large-scale lectures. Fitness, music and drama studios will be attached to the gymnasiums.
As part of the district’s goal to make each school the center of its community, the rooms will also be available for community sports leagues and events. And every school in the district is getting an electronic marquee for public announcements.
Each school’s existing multi-purpose room will be converted into a new library and resource center. Each library will include a media center, reading rooms and spaces for small groups.
In addition to the new buildings, outdoor areas, including quads, walkways and athletic fields will be upgraded.
“The outdoor elements are designed to be both visually interesting and educational,” said Clark Hampton, assistant superintendent.
For example, longer walking paths will feature both standard and metric measurement. Music scales and other musical concepts will be placed outside music classrooms. And science terms will be outside the new science classrooms.
The cost of the project is about $25 million for each school. Funding comes from Measure “O,” a $130 million bond measure approved by Westminster voters in 2008. The bond is funded by property taxes.
The state will help pay for any seismic retrofitting that may be needed. Measure ’O’ has already paid for an upgraded and integrated district-wide telecommunications system and new parking lots and lighting at Fryberger and Meairs elementary schools.
An interesting side note to the project is that time-lapse cameras will record construction for viewing on the district website.