Gym construction expected to continue during school closure

Story by Sofia Alva
Staff Writer

Photo by Ella Jayasekera
Associate Photo Editor

Construction on the SPHS main gym is still expected to be completed by August 31st, despite SPUSD’s school closures. Public construction has been deemed essential by Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, allowing work on the gym to continue throughout the lockdown. 

However, the construction team has had some delays related to the recent weather conditions. March and early April’s weeks of rain had slowed construction more than previously anticipated. If future weather conditions prevent further construction, the team expects the completion date may have to be pushed back. 

Earlier this month, California announced that school funding would be reduced due to the coronavirus outbreak, however, the project will not be affected. Funding for the construction from local bonds like Measure SP has also ensured that it is still completed by August. 

Balfour Beatty, the construction company contracted for this project, has also faced issues regarding building materials. As production has ceased or been cut back in many manufacturing plants around the country, the team expects delays in the materials for the indoor and outdoor gym bleachers.

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for SPUSD, Dave Lubs, and Project Superintendent at Balfour Beatty, Mike Weber Jr., have been working together with their teams to ensure that everyone working on the construction remains safe. Balfour Beatty has implemented facial protection and social distancing requirements for all of its employees while also complying with State and County Health Department guidelines.

“We remain optimistic, yet realistic,” Lubs said. “We are still targeting August 31st to complete the project, [but] we are preparing for the possibility that the pandemic will ultimately delay the completion date in one way or another.”

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