Dublin High School ceremonially opened the doors to its new engineering and science building on Thursday, marking completion on one of Dublin Unified School District's marquee construction projects in recent years.
The new $31.5 million building -- which broke ground in August 2019 -- adds approximately 47,000 square feet of learning space to the campus, and includes 15 new engineering and science classrooms, HUB/academic support space, break-out spaces, a weight room, and shop space for maintenance and operations.
Funding came from Measures C and E, two major bond measures approved by Dublin voters in 2004 and 2012, respectively.
"This has truly been a community project," said Interim Superintendent Daniel Moirao, who wore a face mask while standing outside of the building at the socially distanced event on Thursday, which was also live streamed that morning. "This is a building of the future -- a future our students get to live on a daily basis here in our school district."
Included among those in attendance were Board of Trustees Vice President and event emcee Megan Rouse, trustees Kristin Pelham and Gabrielle Blackman, DHS principal Maureen Byrne, DHS Engineering and Design Academy director Eugene Chou, Dublin Mayor Melissa Hernandez, Dublin City Councilmember Jean Josey and DHS alum Austin Escobar.
The absence of late trustee Catherine Kuo who died after being hit by an SUV while volunteering at Fallon Middle School last month, did not go unacknowledged at the ceremony. Moirao recalled how at the groundbreaking for the future Emerald High School last summer, Kuo "suddenly had fans and face masks" for all the attendees.
"I know that if Trustee Kuo had been here today … she'd probably be walking through here celebrating with us and we want to acknowledge her, for her help in making us better as well," Moirao said.
The building officially opened to students on March 29, soon after DUSD resumed in-person learning for those enrolled in hybrid classes.
Hernandez congratulated "the generations of students who will benefit from the opportunities of Dublin High's new engineering and science building" in her address, and said she was "thrilled to be here and to celebrate this occasion in person."
"If the past year has taught us anything, it is that even as we approach this digital age, we cannot take the on-campus learning experience for granted," Hernandez said. "How lucky are we that as school begins to reopen, our kids and our educators get to return in-person learning with the state-of-the-art facility like this."
Byrne said she's "been around long enough to see this space go through many iterations -- auto shop class and maintenance shop, counseling department, leadership room, athletic department, and, of course, a fenced-in lot of dirt that was here for a long time."
"This building represents so much -- the growth of an engineering program from a few random classes to a state-renowned academy, the advocacy of students and staff for facilities to help them thrive," Byrne said. "Most of all, it represents a community's belief in its youth, our future, and their commitment to help them flourish."
Byrne concluded, "Most of all, thank you to the voters of Dublin. Thank you for passing Measure C and E to make this day a reality. We are ever so grateful and will work to do you proud."
Watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony in its entirety here.