gmhTODAY Spring 2022 - Page 71

South Valley Middle School Rebuild

Can ' t Hide Tiger Pride !

By Melanie Corona GUSD

The highly anticipated renovation and rebuild project of the South Valley Middle School campus in Gilroy is underway . The $ 90 million project will transform the campus from an aging eyesore to a 21st century , state-of-the-art learning center , with completion expected by October , 2023 .

Conceptualizing for the project began in early 2020 with a design team of staff members and administrators from GUSD and South Valley , led by Aedis Architects , the firm that designed the newly remodeled Brownell Middle School campus . The official groundbreaking for the campus took place in late August 2021 , and was attended by a number of state and local dignitaries , as well as staff , students and parents . The modernization project , which began in the summer of 2021 , will transform the campus and enhance the surrounding IOOF Avenue , Murray Avenue neighborhood , and the Gilroy community .
Inside , the design features modern modular classrooms with lots of natural light and new classroom “ groups .” These include dedicated science labs ; integrated outdoor learning spaces ; a new administration building , a multi-purpose room ; kitchen ; media center ; music facility and gymnasium . Students will earn using new technology infrastructure , maker spaces and science labs . Many Gilroyans who attended South Valley when it was the former Gilroy High School campus , might remember that the science classrooms are actually designed to accommodate high school classes , like chemistry , and are not functional for middle school students .
Although the entire campus is being rebuilt , the tradition of excellence in the community will live on . The new gymnasium will still be dedicated to Burt Mar , Gilroy ’ s “ Father of Wrestling ,” and will continue to greet competitors and spectators to campus . The athletic facility is still housed in the main gymnasium , which will host the majority of the campus ’ s indoor athletic events , but also includes a second training area and weight room .
Walking on campus will feel shady and green thanks to the well-established oak and redwood trees that offer sheltered places for students to gather outside of the classroom . More trees will be planted to enhance outdoor shade areas and assist in energy conservation . The front of campus will transition to Murray Avenue , which should alleviate traffic issues on IOOF Avenue , near the current Gilroy Prep School campus . Additional highlights of the campus include an outdoor play field , additional basketball courts , a multi-use hard court , and a new all-weather track . There are three parking lots planned for the new design , including a dedicated staff lot with electric vehicle chargers , and two bus drop-off areas , on Murray and IOOF Avenue .
The Tiger mascot , which is showcased in a number of ways throughout the new design , most prominently in the new design of the main quad , continues to epitomize the proud tradition of excellence in and out of the classroom . Upon completion , the new South Valley Middle School campus will inspire learners with its beauty and design . As the prior version of the campus has served students for over a century , and holds a lifetime of memories for many Gilroy residents , the new campus aims to do the same for generations of Tigers to come .
Outside , the new classrooms are designed in groups that look like rows of housing in order to give the campus a neighborhood feel , and enhance the feeling of community . Each classroom group has a mini “ quad ,” that serves as a gathering place , with a dedicated shade structure .
Classrooms will be equipped with flexible furniture that can be easily reconfigured to reflect the needs of students throughout the school year or for individual units of instruction . The new music facility will incorporate appropriate acoustical design for both band and choir classes . The campus design boasts multiple outdoor learning environments , so instructional staff can bring learning outside . It is also designed to accommodate current and future educational technology needs , including high speed internet access , touchscreen viewboards in each classroom , and a top notch security system .
Melanie Corona is the Public Information Officer for Gilroy Unified School District , 7810 Arroyo Circle Gilroy , CA 95020 . Contact her at : Tel : 669.205.4095 / Fax : 408.847.4717 / https :// www . gilroyunified . org /
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