New gym to be built at Stacey Middle School


By Colleen Janssen

Editor’s note: The gym at Stacey has since been built. Look for an updated story in the next couple of weeks.

“We broke ground over winter break,” said Tony Wold, Ed.D, assistant superintendent of business services for the Westminster School District. “There is a high-water table, so we have to remove the dirt, and do soil compaction. A geo-technical engineer is part of the construction team.”

The gymnasium will be a welcome addition to Stacey Middle School in Huntington Beach. The school, part of the Westminster School District, is overdue for a building of this type.

Features of the 20,000 square-foot building include multiple basketball courts, seating for 1,500, and a state-of-the-art band room with built-in acoustics.  The stage will have a drop-down screen and full lighting array.

Retractable bleacher seating, along with 500 chairs, will fit all students and parents for graduation ceremonies and school events. The school has a large after-school drama program called West Arts, which will have a new home on the stage.

The gym will have a wood floor and the building will be green and use recycled materials when possible.  The energy use will be efficient and will use LED lighting. Skylights all around will enhance lighting, and will have drapes for blackouts.

Recently, the future location of the building was a giant 15-foot-deep hole, and soon, the foundation will be poured.  Recently, the staff brought the science classes out to discuss the project and the complexities of soil compaction and other construction factors.

The school district installed a time-lapse camera on top of a building that follows the progress of the project.  In the future, a video will be created and placed online for viewers.

“The company building the gym is AMG,” said Wold. “They have done quite a few large public projects and were the lowest responsible bidder. They are showing great integrity. We meet with them every week, along with an independent inspector of records, geo-technical engineer, the architect, and our executive director in charge of facilities, maintenance and transportation.”

The project is being funded by Proposition T, which voters passed in November 2016. Most projects take years to get started once the funding is approved by voters, but this project was ready to go as soon as voter approval was received.

“In 2010, the Measure O funding ran out. We came to the voters to ask for more funding for this shovel-ready project. We have been super-fiscally responsible and the voters understood that,” said Wold.

Dr. Marian Kim Phelps, superintendent, refinanced a 2006 certificate of participation and a 2010 general obligation bond that was part of Measure O. The result was a savings of $5 million.  Additionally, Westminster School District saved $1 million of taxpayer money by using a similar design as has been used at some of the other local schools, which saved architecture costs.

For community members and local businesses that would like to help the project, there are a few donations that would be helpful. One needed item is commercial-grade fitness equipment including machines such as ellipticals, treadmills, and bikes.

For the band room, they would appreciate some new instruments.

“Our teacher has some very old musical instruments that he personally repairs,” said Wold.

The gym can use basketballs, sports equipment, volleyballs and similar items. The stage performances would be enhanced with lavalier microphones and other portable microphones.

Those interested in donating to the project or who have questions regarding donations can contact Trish Montgomery, Westminster School District public information officer, at 714-894-7311, ext.1004.

The estimated completion date for the project is January 2018. A celebration will be held when the building opens.

Photo by Colleen Janssen

Trish Montgomery listens as Tony Wold, Ed.D., assistant superintendent of business services for the Westminster School District, describes the work being done to prepare the Stacey Middle School gym property so the foundation can be poured.Montgomery, the district’s public information officer, is the contact person for those wishing to donate sports equipment, musical instruments and other items to the project. Call her at 714-894-7311, ext. 1004.