AV Groundbreaking Ceremony: AV science labs and portable replacement project kicks off

Shuchi Parikh, Staff Writer

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  • The VPs and other staff also pose with their shovels, actually beginning the process of moving dirt because of their excitement for the new building. While the poses between this and the board trustee picture are similar, the photo serves as a reminder that there are numerous people involved in or impacted by the process that enabled this new building including every student, teacher, and parent in the district.

  • From left to right, VP Eduardo Guerena, VP Melanie Harris, Principal Josh Butterfield, Coordinator of Athletics & Activities Michael Jaramillo, and VP Jamie Mather pose for a photo similar to the one the board trustees were part of but hold the plan for the new building next to the spot where it will eventually be built as a point of comparison. What is now a pile of dirt will soon be an impressive two-story building, improving Amador Valley’s campus drastically.

  • The photo placed next to the spot where the board members previously took pictures indicates what the new building is planned to look like and demonstrates impressive plans for the addition of a two-story building to Amador.

  • Trustee Mark Miller stands proudly over the center of the groundbreaking ceremony as he looks out to the direction the new buildings will soon face.

  • Remembering to set an example for students, the school district officials transition to a socially distanced picture, symbolizing a school year unique in its transition to remote learning but also in the major infrastructure projects being undertaken while schools are unoccupied.

  • The board trustees, Mr. Butterfield, and Dr. Haglund mark the first step of the construction process by posing with their shovels at the location where new buildings will be placed. While the board members are not actually shoveling, this picture represents the beginning of major upgrades to Amador Valley High School.

  • Superintendent Dr. David Haglund gave another brief speech to describe how the Measure I1 bond passed last year has enabled these new classrooms to be built along with other major school upgrades.

  • Amador Valley principal Josh Butterfield gives a brief speech to a socially distanced audience consisting of board trustees and other school board officials. His speech kicked off the groundbreaking ceremony for the new classrooms that would be built at Amador and replace the portables.

As a result of the Measure I1 bond passed in 2016, the school district began a new construction project at Amador Valley High School. The project will add extra science labs and remove the portable classrooms on campus.

The new science labs will be part of a two-story building meant to replace the classes that were in portables and other science classes. Several schools in the Bay Area have multiple two-story buildings, including Dougherty Valley High School.

“An advantage of having a two-story building is that more classrooms can be fit into the building which allows for more students to take the classes they want. I think one disadvantage is that students have to walk a pretty far distance from class to class,” said Dougherty Valley High School student Riya Mehta (‘21).

In order to accommodate prep and teaching periods, science teachers usually have to move their lab and demo equipment from classroom to classroom. Having more classrooms can make this whole process much easier or entirely unnecessary. 

“I think adding more classrooms to our campus is a good idea, considering how much our student population has grown over the years. For the science teachers in particular, I think that it will be good for us so that we have more rooms to use as dedicated classrooms and not have to move from classroom to classroom in between periods,” said AV Physics teacher Jonathon Brix.

In addition to the new building, many students and teachers express excitement over the prospect of replacing portable classrooms with permanent classrooms. There are also a variety of problems with portable classrooms that can be overcome with this project.

“I have heard a lot about the air conditioning not working and the rooms being much smaller. Some of our portables are very far from the main campus so again, it’s a pretty long walk just to get to class and definitely not enough time, which can then cut into class time,” said Mehta.

As Amador makes these major changes to its campus, students and teachers have a lot to look forward to once schools reopen. Most people generally agree that there are many positive effects of the planned construction, but some also argue that there is still room for improvement. 

“We may need to consider adding more buildings like the Q, which are two stories, to accommodate our seemingly ever-growing population,” said Brix.