Keppel campus gets new buildings

Construction crews are making significant headway on three new structures at Mark Keppel Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School as part of a $9.2 million project that will include 14 permanent classrooms, as well as a new art studio and amphitheater.

Fourteen “deteriorated” bungalow classrooms that were at least 30 years old were removed to make way for the project, according to a report from the school district.

The project is expected to be completed by the time classes begin next school year in August, said Mark Keppel Principal Lise Søndergaard.

The new classrooms, art studio and amphitheater are being paid for with $4.9 million in Measure S bond funds and a $4.3 million grant from the state’s overcrowding relief program.

The grant funds are open to schools across California and enable campuses to replace portable classrooms with permanent buildings.

The new buildings are being built off-site to be put into place using a crane on top of foundations on the school campus. One six-classroom structure was installed Friday.

“Now that we can see a structure, I think everybody’s getting more and more excited,” Søndergaard said.

Among its amenities, the new art studio will give teachers and students access to a kiln for clay projects.

The new buildings will also boast state-of-the-art computer technology, heating and air conditioning, and natural light from windows — features that many of the bungalows often lacked.

“It’s great for kids to be in permanent housing,” she said.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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