Mary A. Castillo
The Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education this
week approved construction contracts that will jump start projects at
Thurston Middle and Top of the World Elementary schools.
“We’re scheduled to begin within the next week or two,” said Carl
Neuhausen, construction project administrator for the district.
Together with the four contractors, Neuhausen will conduct a
jobsite walk-through before they begin what promises to be 21 months
The contractors awarded parts of the work were USS Cal Builders,
Zeen Plumbing, LA Air and Dennison Electric.
The contracts, totaling $4,155,360 for Top of the World Elementary
School, came in at $436,916 less than the budgeted amount. The funds
will be transferred to the district’s Contingency Fund.
Although contracts totaling $8,153,975 for Thurston Middle School
exceeded the budgeted allocation by $12,297, the district will
proceed. The extra will come from the contingency fund.
The fall construction package at Thurston will include the
completion of the new gym, the conversion of the locker room building
into a new technology lab and a performing arts building, also known
as the black box, Neuhausen said.
Starting in June, construction crews will go to work improving the
athletic fields, the hard court play area and the driveway and
parking lot area. Existing buildings will receive updated electrical
systems, and handicapped access will be brought up to meet Americans
with Disability Act requirements, Neuhausen said.
At Top of the World, parents, teachers and students will see the
construction of a new eight-room instructional building, as well as
the expansion of the kindergarten building.
During the summer, improvements will be made to the athletic
fields, hard court play areas and the parking lot, Neuhausen said.
Crews will expand the lot into the hillside and shore it up with a
retaining wall, which will add approximately 10 to 20 new spaces.
“We’re doing the heavy work during the summer so it doesn’t impact
school traffic and students,” he said.
The work at Top of the World is scheduled to be completed in June
2004. The work at Thurston is scheduled for completion in August
As for construction at Laguna Beach High School, Neuhausen expects
that the board will review the recommended qualifying bidders at its
next meeting, on Nov. 26. Those projects, which include, classroom
upgrades, new classroom spaces for dance, drama and math and a new
girls’ locker and restroom facility, are scheduled to begin in