Construction for the upper school’s new events center will begin this April


Meena Gudapati

A tractor paves the ground in a fenced off area on Rosenthal Field this week. The Upper School will begin building its new Events Center, featuring a gymnasium and performing arts building, after the groundbreaking ceremony on April 22.

by Anika Rajamani, Reporter

The Upper School will commence construction of the events center, which will be built in the space of the current parking lot and Rosenthal field, with a groundbreaking ceremony on April 22.

The new events center will include two major buildings which are the gymnasium and the performing arts building, including classrooms and offices for faculty. The administration expects to open the gym in the fall of 2017, and the arts building will be ready around the spring of 2018.

Due to construction, the Class of 2016 will lose parking privileges during the second week of AP exams as the parking lot will no longer be operational. For this reason, they received their senior privileges after the February break.

“[The construction] doesn’t really affect me. I have a parking spot this year, and actually for the seniors, this is only going to affect us for five days,” Alex Sikand (12) said.

The current juniors will lose on-campus parking during their senior year. To compensate for this loss of parking, the school advised students with cars to park at the middle school campus and take a shuttle to the upper school campus.

“We are going to encourage more students to park at Blackford because there’s ample parking there,” Greg Lawson, assistant head of the upper school, said.

Parking at the Blackford campus raises the question of how large quantities students will then travel to the Saratoga campus. To solve this, the administration decided to run more shuttles in the morning and afternoon and to provide a van service, which will run through the day. This way, students who must leave early for a game or an appointment will be able to get to their cars in the middle of the school day.

After the end of construction, students will regain on-campus parking, and this construction project will increase the number of the parking spots as there will be spots up against the wall facing the freeway.

Students who participated in sports or performing arts activities that involve them going to the Blackford campus will not have to go there anymore. This will help relax students as they do not have to rush to take books out of their lockers, change for practice or rehearsals, and catch the bus. This also means that teachers and coaches can hold longer practices and rehearsals as they do not have to wait for students to arrive at the middle school campus.

“Instead of having to go to blackford to rehearse or practice and lose all that time, students can just come out of class and walk across to where they want to go,” Lawson said.
The construction will facilitate transportation to practices and rehearsals for students, coaches and teachers. However, current juniors will not have on-campus parking next year.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on March 3, 2016.