The $35-million renovation of Mountain View High School is set to begin this spring and by the time it’s done, more than 3,500 students and staff may feel like they’re on a brand-new campus.
“We are touching all of Mountain View High School,” Architect Neil Pieratt of SPS+ Architects last week told the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board as he gave an overview of the multi-phased project funded by the $300-million bond issue voters approved in 2018.
From a new performing arts addition to possibly a new gymnasium, the entire project on the 45-year-old campus not only will add new amenities and more efficiently organize space for various administrative and academic functions but also will have numerous accents reinforcing the Toros brand, he said.
That means lots of red accents inside and out.
Even some trees that have reached the end of their life span will be replaced by Chinese Pistache trees on the Lindsay Road entrance used by students and parents who drop off their kids. The trees’ leaves turn red in the fall.
Among the first projects to get off the drawing board in May will be work on the campus’ north side.
New turf and lighting will be installed on practice and competition fields as well as on an area reserved for HIIT training. The parking area will be upgraded. A sand volleyball court will be installed and even the tennis court could get some love.
At the same time on the south side along Brown Road, a facelift will begin on the main entryway and frontage area. Staff parking will be built and the bus lane will be extended.
“We are looking at doing a grand new entry,” Pieratt explained, noting the new canopy will be cantilevered in the shape of a “T” for “Toros.”
At street level, two large concrete pieces shaped as an “M” and a “V” – in red, of course – also will be added “so if you want to do a selfie, that will be the place to do it,” he said.
“We wanted to respect the traditional architecture, the older style architecture,” he added, “but wanted to give it a new palette.”
The 70,000- square-foot building beyond that canopy will be rearranged – giving the campus additional 10 classrooms “we didn’t know we had,” Pieratt said.
The classrooms will be located on one end of the building while offices will be consolidated on the other end with room for nurses, counselors and other service and administrative staff.
Work also will begin on the 160,000-square foot academic building, where more than half will be renovated this summer.
The biggest part of that project will be gutting the top floor of the two-story building to create a performing arts addition with studios, a scene shop, backstage, auditorium and rehearsal areas.
Pieratt stressed that throughout the renovation, providing safety and security will be a major goal.
Board President Jenny Richardson stressed the need to have “minimize the impact for education” – an acknowledgment that some learning will be going on even during the summer.
Pieratt admitted, “It’s going to be quite a task to get that done over summer, but that top floor has to be back functioning at some level and they're going to hit it heavy.”
He was referring to the building where classrooms and office space will be consolidated.
He said the contractor has been meeting with subcontractors to set up an aggressive work schedule.
“They know that it's priority number one,” he said, referring to the reconfiguration of the 70,000-square-foot building. “Secondary to that is the performing arts building.”