You’d never know we’re in a recession if you’ve cruised past many of Pasadena’s finest schools this summer. It’s been a veritable frenzy of construction—all great for the local economy, of course, and good for the students, too. Work is moving furiously at some schools, like Sequoyah and Westridge, which plan on having work completed by the first day of school; others, like Chandler’s new middle school, will take much longer. Here’s a short list of places we know are in the thick of construction:
Aveson Global Leadership Academy: This new offshoot of the successful Aveson Charter School in east Altadena will house a middle and high school in an under-construction building at the corner of Lincoln and Altadena Drive. Students will go back to school shortly in temporary facilities at the Boys & Girls Club, but the PUSD charter hopes to move into its new digs by late September.
Chandler School: The middle school at this venerable Pasadena private K-8 was demolished earlier this summer, with lots of earth moving and foundation-building to follow. This new South Campus project, which entails a new middle school that will be double the size of the old one and will boast Craftsman architecture to match both the rest of the campus and the Prospect Park neighborhood, will take a full year to complete. So teachers and students will make do in trailers for the 2010-2011 school year.
Polytechnic School: Three years ago, when celebrating its centennial, Poly committed to raise a staggering $93 million for its “Next 100 Years” campaign, and the majority of that is going to a new campus. The question here is not what’s new, but what’s not new. You name it, they’re building it: science labs, a library, math rooms, underground parking, art studios, performing-arts spaces, classrooms, a cafeteria… all that, and more. Much has been accomplished, but there’s still lots more to build.
Sequoyah School: This K-8 progressive private school is almost finished with a major new fencing and landscaping project, which will greatly improve the school’s curb appeal (it’s on the heavily traveled intersection of California and Pasadena Avenue), give the kids a better playing field, improve the safety and add educational gardens. Once the chain link comes down, the neighborhood will see fencing that matches the midcentury modern aesthetic of this architecturally significant campus.
Westridge: Nearing completion, just in the time for the new school year, is a smashing new science building for the high school at this 4-12 girls’ academy. As is appropriate for a building designed to teach future scientists, the building has earned LEED certification for being environmentally friendly in its materials and sustainable to operate and maintain.