After seven years, the first phase of construction at San Ramon Valley High school is nearing completion.
"We did the commons/cafeteria, we did the D building - it's a two-story classroom building - and then we did the CTE , career, technology, education building, the auxiliary gym" said SRVHS Principal Joseph Ianora. "The last project is the new main gym. That sort of completes the cycle."
That cycle came to an abrupt halt in July 2009, when Native American remains were found by construction workers digging a water line. More remains were found as the foundation was dug for the gym, stopping the project as archeologists were brought in for a dig.
Ianora described that as both a frustrating and exciting time.
"All of the indoor sports played in that gym," he said. "On the other hand, all of our students got to see, first hand, California history."
The construction cycle was also disturbed when the main gym was suddenly condemned in February 2008, when an engineer determined it wouldn't stand up to an earthquake.
Ianora expects the gym to be finished by the end of the year, with an official opening scheduled for March 18.
"That gym will symbolize the end of this phase of construction," he said. "The next (phase) we won't enter until we present another bond."
Ianora said there's much more work to be done on the oldest school in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.
Among the work that remains is the demolition of a number of older, one-story classroom buildings on the campus -- some of the oldest in the district -- which will be replaced with two-story buildings, and replacing the pool, which was built in 1954.
The work at SRVHS is among the last to be done under the Measure A bond, which was approved in 2002. During that time, every other school had work completed and one, Dougherty Valley, was built from the ground up.
Being last on the list has left a bad taste in the mouth for some of the parents of students at the school, and Ianora pointed out that the construction has been a fact of life for students for years.
"These seniors have never known the campus not to have a (construction) fence up, or bulldozers," he said.
As for Ianora, he hopes to be around to see the next phase of work competed at the school, and, perhaps, getting rid of the hard hat he keeps in a cabinet in his office.