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Buildings, plaza finished at Carlsbad High

McCarthy Building Companies Inc. has completed construction of 11 education buildings and a central plaza at Carlsbad High School, 3557 Lancer Way in Carlsbad.

The $47 million classroom complex was constructed on behalf of the Carlsbad Unified School District.

The education-building complex represents the third phase of an overall $87 million renovation and modernization of Carlsbad High School that McCarthy began in June 2008.

The project is being funded by Proposition P, a $198 million bond measure passed by voters in 2006. Carlsbad High School, which was originally built in 1957 now has an enrollment of 3,000 students and is one of eight schools within the Carlsbad Unified School District being constructed or modernized with funding from Prop P.

The one- and two-story education facilities total 99,000 square feet of space and provide new classroom, performing arts, vocational education lab and food service space.

The buildings surround the newly created Lancer Plaza, which resembles a college campus quad.

Built on the site of the school's former parking lot on the east side of Carlsbad High School, the 11 new steel-framed stucco buildings were designed to harmonize with the surrounding structures, while giving the campus a more contemporary appeal.

The buildings feature curtain walls on one side, and cantilevered walls with metal sunscreens on the opposite sides to help reduce energy use. Masonry was incorporated in some areas.

In all, the education building phase encompasses 54 new instruction spaces, including 34 regular classrooms, six computer/digital labs and 14 other instructional rooms.

It also encompasses 18 new restrooms, four faculty rooms, a full-size commercial kitchen and a professionally equipped broadcast studio.

A primary challenge for McCarthy project team members during this phase of construction was coordinating the logistics of building on an existing, occupied campus and controlling vehicle, bicycle, skateboard and pedestrian traffic. This task was further complicated by the adjoining, city-owned cultural arts campus, which offered a full spectrum of productions during summer months -- a time when construction crews had counted on accomplishing a large portion of the construction work.

With the education-building phase complete, McCarthy crews will now demolish some of the existing classroom buildings on the south side of the campus, and convert the site into a new, larger parking lot.

In March 2010, McCarthy completed the second phase of construction, which involved demolition of the existing stadium, installation of underground utility infrastructure, and construction of a new 3,900-seat athletic stadium with aluminum bleachers and a synthetic track and field area.

The initial phase, performed in the latter half of 2008, required McCarthy to set up temporary classroom facilities for students, along with the utilities to support these facilities.

Design consultants involved in the Carlsbad High School renovation project include Perkins+Will, architect; Lightfoot Planning Group, landscape architect; and The Planning Center for the environmental impact report.

Gafcon was the program manager and Erik Reuter was the director of school construction on behalf of the school district.

Engineering consultants were John A. Martin & Associates for structural, Leighton Engineering for geotechnical, Cornerstone Engineering Inc. for civil, Johnson Consulting Engineers Inc. for electrical and Donn C. Gilmore & Associates for mechanical.

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