Opening of new Paly buildings pushed back to spring

Groundbreaking set for new theater after classroom building, media center complete

Students and teachers waiting to occupy Palo Alto High School's new two-story classroom building and Media Arts center will have to wait a little longer.

Completion date for the two buildings — originally set for June 2013 — is now more likely to be "sometime this spring," said Bob Golton, a district official managing construction under the $387 Strong Schools facilities bond passed in 2008.

Workers from Taisei Construction Corp. remain on the job despite a lawsuit, currently wending its way through Santa Clara County Superior Court, over $1.65 million in disputed costs. The June 2013 lawsuit, in which Taisei alleges that delays and required rebuilding were caused by the district's "unbuildable" design elements, is in the fact-finding phase.

An exact occupancy date for the buildings remains uncertain, Golton said. The classroom building is "significantly ahead" of the Media Arts building, he said.

"In the last week or so they've averaged maybe 45 or 50 workers a day, which is lower than they had in the fall but higher than what they had in December and early January," he said. "Their latest revised (completion) date for both buildings is Feb. 21.

"We're continuously monitoring their progress and trying to assist them in finishing."

Paly's math and social studies departments will occupy the 27 classrooms in the two-story building once it's completed.

The Media Arts building, visible from Embarcadero Road, still needs considerable interior painting, plastering and electrical work, Golton said.

The combined budget for both buildings was $17.1 million.

Once the buildings are completed and the construction staging area cleared, Golton said, groundbreaking is expected for a new $24.4 million Performing Arts Center, also on the Embarcadero edge of the Paly campus.

The center will include a 583-seat theater, a lobby with restrooms, tickets, concessions and a gallery area as well as classroom and storage space.


Like this comment
Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 24, 2014 at 11:10 am

Another Mitchell Park Library -like- Project.

Like this comment
Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Senor blogger said it.

Like this comment
Posted by llfried
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 24, 2014 at 1:48 pm

llfried is a registered user.

Both this and the Mitchell Park Center are classic problems of taking the lowest bidder for each phase of the project. Standard government procedure.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Well the good news is that the roof at the "Main " Library is on.... The only good thing about no rain. Maybe our know-it-all Legislature can get the law changed that the lowest bids have to be taken. First Mitchell, now PALY. Does anything work correctly in this town? Oh, yes, the City has to hire more people to make it all work. What do the rest of them do? See today's superb article in the POST.

Like this comment
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I just feel sorry for the students. My Paly students had B for E going on all their time at elementary school and middle school, and this now at Paly. They have spent more time in portables than regular classrooms, sometimes having to change from one to the other mid year. They are used to having strangers in yellow hats walking around campus and noise and other disturbance. Their school memories are already feeling like one construction site after another.

Like this comment
Posted by Dipstick
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Let's not jump to conclusions on lowest bidders. Keep in mind the outrageous stupidity of the Mitchell Park Design. When you design an unbuildable plan with no budget goal, you get an unbuildable Library.

It is surprising that Taisei bid on plans that they feel are unbuildable. I guess they didn't read the plans when they took the job.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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