The Lowell

Filed under All, News

Construction in main building takes away classroom windows and causes leaks, but stays on schedule

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






By Luming Yuan

Originally published on February 25, 2015

Exposed framework in some classrooms on the first floor. Photo by Aida Irving

With the spring semester comes the continuation of changes in the main building and library computer lab that promise increased safety and student productivity.

The retrofit was designed to modify the school so that it can withstand earthquakes that reach up to a “9” on the Richter scale.

The earthquake retrofit began in the main building during the summer of 2014. Construction is currently occurring on the third floor and has been on-budget, according to construction manager Pam Welty from Swinerton Builders.

The construction on the third floor is projected to end before fall 2015, and marks the end of the earthquake retrofit process, according to assistant principal Michael Yi. The retrofit was designed to modify the school so that it can withstand earthquakes that reach up to a “9” on the Richter scale. Although the process caused certain classrooms to lose windows or a foot of space, it yielded several new walls, floors, whiteboards and fans.

English classrooms on the first floor, among others, have new pull-down window shades. Photo by Aida Irving

I usually dread having to use the computer lab, but now I actually look forward to using the new Macs.

Due to the construction, some rooms in the main building have not been completed. Rooms such as 134, 139 and 141 as well as the English office have inconveniences such as missing blinds and unfinished flooring, according to English teacher Stephanie Crabtree. “The new translucent blinds make it difficult to see things projected on the board clearly,” Crabtree said. “In addition, the construction on the second floor had caused a ceiling leak on the first floor. The fan switch in the English office began to smoke and had to be fixed.”

Inconveniences caused by construction are temporary and will be resolved, according to Yi.

Changes unrelated to the earthquake retrofit process also recently occurred in the library computer lab. After the Lowell Alumni Association provided approximately $120,000 for the renovation of the library computer lab which opened in fall 2014, it also purchased a set of thirty-two Mac computers and four Mac laptops for the lab for about $50,000.

Librarians Alison Shepard and Steve Sasso asked students to write comments of appreciation regarding the new computers, then pasted them to the walls of the computer lab to thank the LAA. A comment from senior Stephanie Tang read, “The new computers are reliable, fast and beautiful! I usually dread having to use the computer lab, but now I actually look forward to using the new Macs. Thank you so much for the new computers and for adding to the many resources Lowell has to offer!”

Some classrooms on the first floor still have concrete floors. Photo by Aida Irving

LAA executive director Terence Abad expressed gratitude towards the students’ positive comments in the lab. “I think it’s tremendous for students to do this because as much as you know someone appreciates what you have done, it’s always good to reinforce it,” Abad said.

More changes are yet to come, as construction of a new building in the current T-wing bungalow area is set to begin in June 2015, according to Welty. The new wing will open to students at the beginning of the 2016–2017 school year.

JoyAnne Ibay contributed to this article.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




The Student News Site of Lowell High School
Construction in main building takes away classroom windows and causes leaks, but stays on schedule