Built in 1952, Helix is now over 60 years old and in desperate need of some refurbishing.
Mr. Kevin Osborn, our director, dates some of the construction back to about 10 years ago and Mr Damon Chase, 9th grade principal said, “there was nothing wrong with the 1300 building, remodeling it is part of the modernization plan.”
The new 1300 building, as well as other buildings being worked on, will have air conditioning, sufficient electrical conditions and plumbing.
According to Osborn, “The construction at school has been done in 5 phases with the first phase including the math buildings and 300 buildings.” Although he cannot remember the specific phases of every alteration, it is clear that the school has endured a grand transformation.
Daniel Baits, AP English teacher for juniors and seniors is now in the midst of his 31st year at Helix and can remember the worn down tiles, worn out walls and even when, “the community had to make it a project to install ceiling fans in the main rooms to help cool down the students.”
Even though the many construction phases seem to drag, Baits considers the instruction as important now, as back when he first started teaching, “Students were getting very tired of how bad the conditions were and there was a shared feeling that the community didn’t even care enough to provide them a decent environment for them to do their learning in.”
“At least six teachers have been displaced, but after the building is complete [the 1300 building] will be for the support classes such as Scottie Connect and Helix First,” said Chase. “After this building is complete, hopefully by Thanksgiving, the back buildings of the campus will be upgraded and those should be complete by the time school starts for the 2017/18 year.”
Mr. Osborn has revealed, “ The 1300 building will be turned back to us this month and students will be populating that building next term.” Additionally, “With the new proposition that was passed, the school will be able to completely remodel the gymnasium.”
Ken Britchsgi, manager of Helix facilities and grounds, said the current construction budget was set at 92 million with over 65 million spent. The remaining money will be spent on, “the 1200 building and after that will be the 1100 and 1400 buildings. Afterwards will be the 800 building which will be used as the new administrative building.”
Britchsgi said, “the funding is from bonds that have been passed several years ago through prop H and Prop U. Everyone who lives within the Grossmont High School District attendance area pays a certain amount of money per 100,000 of their home’s assessed value, this was approved by the voters.”
Both Chase and Britschgi have confirmed, over 65 million of the set 92 million has been spent, “the construction will be halted, Initially both the admissions and Exl building were to be remodeled but prices have risen.”
For now, let’s hope that all the buildings end up with air conditioning and decent lighting for selfies.