McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of Southern California’s foremost construction companies in educational facilities, recently completed construction of a new $96.7 million high school for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Located at 6100 South Central Avenue in Los Angeles, the new South Region High School No. 2 opened for instruction on September 7, 2011.
Built to relieve overcrowding at nearby John C. Fremont Senior High School, the new South Region High School No. 2 is a part of LAUSD’s $19.5 billion new school construction and modernization program to provide a safe and healthy neighborhood school on a traditional, two-semester calendar for every student.
“McCarthy’s ability to successfully address all changes and unforeseen challenges while adhering to the schedule was key to the project’s success,” said Moty Eisenberg, senior project manager, contract professional for LAUSD. “As a result of a collaborative effort by the entire project team, our new high school opened on schedule and is now providing the community with a state-of-the-art educational facility while relieving overcrowded conditions at other nearby schools.”
McCarthy served as general contractor for the project which entailed construction of a 220,000-sf high school on a 16.1 acre site with capacity for up to 2,000 students. The new school consists of eight two-and three-level buildings with 75 classrooms, an administrative office, performing arts/multi-purpose/practice gym, cafeteria and food services area, media center/library, a gym and locker rooms. McCarthy also built an outdoor lunch shelter as well as athletic facilities including football and softball fields and a track and field venue with a new rubberized synthetic track surface.
Designed by Leo A Daly of Los Angeles, the nine buildings are strategically positioned to provide a rectangular perimeter barrier around a centrally located courtyard/student gathering area. The high school is sectioned into four small learning communities.
Paul Buckely, principle for Leo A Daly said that each learning community is self-contained with classrooms and laboratory facilities in each building. The athletic, library and performing arts facilities are shared among the four communities. Each classroom has state-of-the-art A/V equipment and the ADA compliant science labs feature built-in casework, fume hoods, chemical resistant countertops, sinks, gas, power and high speed data connections. All buildings are type II steel construction with the exterior skin comprised of plaster, CMU veneer and metal panels.
Certified by the Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS), the new South Regional High School boasts numerous environmentally friendly elements. Some of the project’s sustainable features include: energy efficient direct/indirect lighting with automatic lighting controls; low flow lavatories; low VOC paint; high energy efficient air conditioning; operable windows; a white roof to reflect unwanted energy and reduce the amount of energy consumed and drought tolerant landscaping. Construction waste was also recycled.
BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology was used to assist in the building process for the new high school. Xcel Mechanical Systems, the project’s mechanical contractor, used AutoDesk NavisWorks project review software to create 3D models of the high school’s mechanical systems before construction began. The use of 3D modeling proved highly successful in helping visualize and resolve systems clashes in the areas that required extensive detailing such as the central plant, the underground utilities, small mechanical closets and restrooms.
“LAUSD, Leo A Daly and McCarthy worked extremely well together,” said Senior Project Manager Andrew Raufi. “This close team collaboration allowed the project to stay ahead of schedule and complete nearly two months early despite several weeks of rain delays as well as scope additions for underground utilities, off-site street improvements and a new synthetic track and field toward the end of the project.”
Consultants for the new high school include civil engineer KPFF Consulting Engineers; electrical and mechanical engineer Donald F. Dickerson Associates; landscape architect Mia Lehrer & Associates and kitchen consultant Commercial Kitchen Design, Inc. BD+C
Despite rain delays and scope changes, the $96.7 million high school was completed nearly two-months ahead of schedule.