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San Ramon Valley High unveils new, 3-story classroom building

Students, teachers set to start classes in $64 million B Building on Tuesday

Hundreds turned out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the new B Building at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)

With the start of classes just days away, the San Ramon Valley High School community came together to mark a major milestone for the century-old campus outside downtown Danville -- the ribbon-cutting for the school's new "B Building," the largest project funded by the district's 2012 facilities bond measure.

The $64 million project, completed on time and on budget, created a three-story classroom building at the center of campus, with 52 new classrooms that features modern science laboratories and flexible spaces for learning such as culinary arts facilities and a ceramics room.

Principal Jason Krolikowski called the new facility "a crown jewel" during brief remarks at the ceremony Thursday that also included thanking the voters for approving Measure D and the students, staff, school neighbors and the community at-large for their support and patience during the construction project.

"Through all of the dust, the noise, the congestion, the small bouts of frustrations, the looks on our students faces when they enter this building will make it all worth it," Krolikowski said.

The B Building project, which primarily replaced single-story classrooms that mostly dated back to the 1960s, took nearly three years of onsite work to complete, including just over two years of building construction at the school at 501 Danville Blvd. -- which saw many classes held in portable classrooms since 2016.

Though the finishing touches are still being wrapped up in the classrooms and hallways, the building is on track to be fully operational when students arrive for the first day of school on Tuesday, according to Krolikowski. Students will also notice an enlarged quad space at the center of campus, and the new parking lot behind the B Building is still being constructed, scheduled for mid-fall opening.

Sarah Kate McElroy, an incoming senior at SRVHS who spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony as a freshman, told the audience Thursday she is thrilled to see the B Building opening for students.

"As much as I loved the connectivity and compactness of 'Portable City,' I am so grateful I get to spend my senior year on such a breathtaking campus," she said. "I'm super jealous of the freshmen coming in this year that get this place for four years. So, with our new building, let's make this year the best one yet."

More than 400 people attended the ribbon-cutting event, held on the same morning as a freshman orientation session. Parents, students and community leaders also got the chance to tour the B Building after the ceremony Thursday morning.

Elected officials in attendance included SRVUSD Board President Rachel Hurd, who also spoke to the audience, board members Ken Mintz and Susanna Ordway, Danville Mayor Robert Storer, and Danville Town Council members Newell Arnerich, Lisa Blackwell and Renee Morgan.

The most expensive and extensive project funded by the $260 million Measure D, the new building covers 105,000 square feet and is comprised of three stories worth of classrooms, administrative offices, a student leadership center and other facilities.

Offering more square footage consolidated into a smaller footprint, the B Building is essentially box-shaped, with classrooms, lab spaces and restrooms on three sides in roughly a "C" shape that face the revamped quad and be oriented toward Danville Boulevard. The fourth side of the building will feature second- and third-story walkways above a ground-level opening that leads into the atrium.

The primary goals of the project included reducing the classroom footprint to create more space for parking, quad area and student assembly as well as enhancing access and supervision and allowing flexibility for future expansion as needed, according to district officials.

The grand-opening on Tuesday will offer a fresh feel on campus for returning SRVHS students, staff and administrators, as that part of the school had construction fencing up since mid-2016.

Initial work began in summer 2016, with crews spending about seven weeks on abatement work for lead paint and asbestos as well as infrastructure upgrades including electrical, data and fire alarm systems.

Demolition came next that August with crews tearing down the older, single-story classrooms. That was followed by work on the building pad and utilities installation amid a rainy winter before construction on the new building was cleared to begin in April 2017.

It was important to ensure the project remained on time and on budget, according to district officials, who celebrated accomplishing both goals on Thursday.

Next up for SRVHS is completing the new parking lot with 200-plus spaces between the B Building and the Iron Horse Regional Trail.

The new lot, which is on schedule to wrap up in mid-to-late October, is funded in collaboration with the town of Danville, which has long sought more parking at SRVHS for students to free up public spaces in nearby downtown.

Crews will also be repairing the junior varsity baseball and softball field, which were replaced with new blacktop to house the "Portable City" of relocatable classrooms to hold many students and teachers during B Building construction.

Originally founded in 1910, San Ramon Valley High experienced several other updating efforts over the decades that aimed to upgrade the campus, according to district officials.

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Comments

7 people like this
Posted by SRV Parent
a resident of Danville
on Aug 12, 2019 at 7:13 am

The buildings that were replaced by the new structure were constructed in the early 1950’s, not the 1960’s, as the article states. Windows were literally starting to fall out, they had mild and mildew issues, and there was a rat problem. The new construction, though costly, is money well spent.


1 person likes this
Posted by Dan Davis
a resident of Danville
on Aug 12, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Terrific job! We don't hear many on time, on budget, stories these days regarding public construction.


4 people like this
Posted by 30 year plus resident
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Aug 12, 2019 at 8:12 pm

Did anyone thank us homeowners for paying for this via our property taxes?


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