The excitement that started four years ago -- when Burbank Unified
School District, helped by passage of the local bond, began the
modernization and reconstruction of all of our school facilities -- has
reached a new dimension.
As the structures of the new buildings are taking shape at Burbank and
John Burroughs high schools, many residents of Burbank, who drive by the
two schools or watch the school board meetings, have become very
interested in seeing these projects progress.
As the person in charge of the district's modernization and
reconstruction program, I would like to update the Burbank community on
the scope, schedules and activities relative to construction of the new
high schools. This column, the first of two on these exciting projects,
is about the progress of the Burbank High School project. The second will
be dedicated to the John Burroughs High School project.
The construction work at both Burbank and John Burroughs high schools
is progressing very well. Costing approximately $100 million, these
projects started about three months ago and will take about 3 1/2 years
Burbank High's first phase will cost $29 million and will include a
prominent new entrance to the campus, which will be adjacent to the new
administrative offices and connected to the library by a two-story
classroom wing. This section of the project is along Third Street,
continuing on to Harvard Road.
All of the earthwork, underground utility lines and footings are
complete at this point. The steel structure for the administrative
offices is already erected, and the roof structure formed. The main
structure of the entry element is also up. This portion of the project is
scheduled for completion by the summer of next year. This means that the
staff will be able to use their beautiful new offices, and the students
may enjoy the wonderful new library as early as September 2002.
Another section is the classroom building that will be two stories on
one side and three stories on the other, to respond to the site's grade
elevations. Ending with a large cafeteria and kitchen facilities, this
building will be parallel to Third Street, forming a magnificent interior
quad along with the other buildings.
The quad will be utilized for a variety of purposes, such as eating,
socializing and rallies. This building's massive retaining wall and
earthwork, the underground utility lines and footings are all completed
with the steel structure expected to begin in early August. The entire
wing will be ready for occupancy by the fall of next year.
The last section of Burbank High's first phase will be a two-story
building along Harvard Road and Glenoaks Boulevard to be built around
another interior courtyard. Encompassing 20 classrooms and the new auto
shop complex, this part of the project is scheduled for completion by
Phases II and III at Burbank High are anticipated to start immediately
after completion of Phase I. In these phases, the existing auditorium and
some of the classrooms and current offices around it will be totally
modernized with an appealing arcade along Third Street connecting them to
other parts of the new campus.
This section will house the performing arts center of the high school.
Also, a new, large, three-court gymnasium and a swimming pool facility
will be built along Third Street. The other component of the project will
be a two-story parking structure with tennis courts on top to be built at
the corner of Third Street and Delaware Road. Architectural plans are
being completed for these phases at this time.
The school district staff and the construction teams are working very
diligently to ensure quality and beautiful projects at both comprehensive
high schools. As with all of our other major construction projects
completed so far, we are right on schedule and spending the budgets very
wisely and most efficiently on these high school projects.
As construction work progresses and the buildings shape up, more of
these projects will be noticeable by the Burbank community, adding to the
excitement that has already begun.
ALI KIAFAR is chief facilities and development superintendent for the
Burbank Unified School District