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The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

Nearly $3.8 million building to be constructed on ag farm, replacing 20-year-old portables

Groundbreaking+work+for+the+nearly+%243.8+million+new+ag+farm+building+can+be+seen+behind+the+fence+erected+on+the+property+on+Tuesday%2C+Jan.+23.+Once+completed+in+the+summer%2C+the+three-classroom+structure+will+replace+the+portable+classrooms+there.+
Asaph Li
Groundbreaking work for the nearly $3.8 million new ag farm building can be seen behind the fence erected on the property on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Once completed in the summer, the three-classroom structure will replace the portable classrooms there.

Groundbreaking has begun on a nearly $3.8 million agriculture farm building that will contain three new classrooms, replacing the portables there once the project is completed this summer. 

“I was very excited when I heard that the agriculture department was getting new classrooms,” agriculture teacher and department chairman Brian Kim wrote in an email interview. “This change is absolutely needed and will be very helpful.”

The new classrooms will replace the two structures that house rooms 200 and 201.

The estimated $3.77 million one-story building will be paid for by the federal government’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III [ESSER III] funds, which were established as part of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency money issued to public schools, according to a report provided to the Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] board of trustees.

Kim said the air conditioning systems in the portables were not working as efficiently as those in regular classrooms on campus. And since they could not just be replaced with new ones, district officials were able to apply for the ESSER III funds to erect a whole new building with a new A/C unit.

The construction is estimated to finish by the end of June with the removal of portables shortly after.

“This is a facility of high priority that needed to be upgraded in our district, so our district set designated funds for the upgrade because that was a portable building, a non-permanent structure,” said assistant principal Sarah Murrietta, who’s in charge of overseeing maintenance and facilities.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 23, the area for the building’s construction on the ag farm was surrounded by fencing with signs on one side indicating that work was in progress. Inside the fencing, a bulldozer used to level the ground can be seen.

An orange bulldozer is parked at the construction site on Wednesday, Jan. 10, during after-school hours for the construction of the new ag building.

Although senior Christopher Arredondo, who’s been in the ag program since his freshman year, will have graduated by the time the construction project is completed, he agrees that it was time the portables get upgraded.

“The only issue we ever had was probably the [air conditioner] not working in Kim’s room,” said Arredondo, who’s taking Advanced Animal Science fifth period. “But I will admit, having a new environment is always a breath of fresh air.”

Between Tuesday, Aug. 29, and Tuesday, Sept. 5, the FJUHSD published a notice calling for bids for the new ag building project in the Orange County Register, according to a report attached to the Tuesday, Nov. 14, FJUHSD board meeting agenda. 

The district received eight bids with Ontario-based Spec Construction Company Inc. submitting the lowest bid at $3,773,000, according to the report. The FJUHSD’s board of trustees voted unanimously to award the job to Spec as part of the Tuesday, Nov. 14, meeting’s consent calendar.

Once completed, the new structure will consist of three classrooms, one workroom and a storage area, providing students with a better learning environment, Kim wrote in his email interview.

“It allows our students to feel like they are in a real classroom,” he wrote. “We are then able to make sure that we can maximize all of the resources to better help teach.”

Spec officials did not have any renderings for what the building will look like.

Even though the ag department will have a new building, it doesn’t mean school officials will add more instructors to it. Kim and Shannon Deskin will remain as the only teachers to instruct the over 300 students in the ag program.

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