Earl Warren Middle School will begin this summer the first of three stages in the complete reconstruction of the school, as part of Prop. AA improvements.
According to the “EWMS Master Plan” on the school website, the new facility, when completed in the fall of 2017, will occupy 56,120 square feet.
The new campus will enroll 500 students, reduced from the current 705, when the planned middle school near Canyon Crest Academy opens in 2015. EWMS will also adopt a “vision of sustainable technology” to support increased awareness of humanity’s environmental footprint.
“When the school was built 60 years ago, [sustainable technology] wasn’t at the forefront of the conversation,” EWMS principal Mary Anne Nuskin said. “I think we’re all at a place now where we’re being more mindful of our impacts.”
The Master Plan has three focal points: “flexible, adaptable and technologically rich facilities, sustainable, high performance environments for learning and a community-focused campus.” The changes will include new energy sources like solar panels on the roofs of classroom buildings, north-facing natural light windows and high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioners.
“I was really excited [when my teacher told me about the remodel], but also kind of sad because I won’t be there to experience it,” Garret Seamans (8) said. “I think the [remodel] will improve the overall feel of the campus, too, and make it more friendly, which is really good.”
Phase one, beginning this summer, will include the demolition of the cafeteria, known as “Lola’s Place,” the blacktop behind the school, which is currently used for physical education activities, and Warren Hall. The blacktop area and cafeteria will become the district technology offices and hold the district server, which is intended to increase the bandwidth on campus. Warren Hall will be repurposed as a student union and will include “spaces for student project-based learning as well as small group instruction,” according to the Master Plan. The space will supplement the existing public library services and will include two classrooms for P.E., but will be exclusively for EWMS students.
According to Nuskin, the second stage of construction will commence in the fall of 2015 and will begin with the reconstruction of classrooms, which will all meet the new SDUHSD standard of approximately 1,200 square feet.
“Part of [the second phase] will be moving [the] portable classrooms down to the blacktop, so we have some extra space when we’re redoing some of the [other] rooms.” Nuskin said. “Students use those classrooms anyway, so they will be in a different location.”
Nuskin is working closely with the project architects to make student safety and a healthy learning environment top priorities.
Amid heavy construction on campus, Nuskin acknowledges that construction dust, altered traffic patterns and distractions will be inconvenient but will yield a worthwhile result for both students and the community.
“I think it will be distracting when they’re preparing for the demolition because of the noise from construction, but I think it will be okay overall,” Seamans said.
The third and final stage of the EWMS renovation will include additional classroom, administration and counseling building remodeling.
The EWMS reconstruction is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017, and the only building that will remain untouched on the 20-acre plot will be the Solana Beach Library, which has been on-site since 1925