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Morgan Hill
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December 6, 2022

Sobrato work lags

All but auditorium expected to be ready for students by early
March
Completion of construction on phase two of the new Sobrato High School has been pushed back, but not due to weather delays.

The school opened in August with the administration building and three classroom buildings ready for students. Two more classroom buildings, the gym, locker rooms, library and auditorium, plus pool and athletic fields, were planned to open after school began. The first time estimate was December, but Morgan Hill School District Director of Construction and Modernization Al Solis said in the fall that February was a more realistic estimate.

Principal Rich Knapp said the district would likely take possession of the classroom buildings and library and auditorium after the week-long break at the end of February.

Knapp said Monday the district likely will wait to take possession of the buildings the first week of March.

“The D and E buildings (classroom buildings) and the library we will likely have in March,” he said. “We need to be able to commission the fire alarm on all the buildings.”

The pool should be ready in February; the auditorium will probably be ready in May.

The completion of the gym is a question-mark, Knapp said, because of the bleachers. The state Department of Architecture has not yet approved them, after 15 months, he said. The school, built at a cost of nearly $80 million, opened with approximately 700 9th and 10th grade students in August and will be a 9-12 grade comprehensive high school by August 2006. Because of the opening of the new school, 9th grade students are housed at the high schools for the first time in 27 years, instead of at the middle schools.

Construction of the school began two years ago. Plans for the high school were scaled back to 173,902 square-feet to accommodate 1,500 students at an estimated cost of $76 million instead of the 2,500 originally intended. The school was originally designed at 186,000 square-feet. It was largely funded by the $72 million bond issue, Measure B, passed in June 1999. The bond issue also included money to build Barrett Elementary and renovate the aging Live Oak High School.

The school site, which has been controversial from the beginning, is just north of Morgan Hill on approximately 90 acres on the east side of Monterey Road, on Burnett Avenue.

The family of Ann Sobrato donated land to the school district to build the high school on, but the city of San Jose claimed the property was in the green belt area and filed a lawsuit against the district and the city of Morgan Hill challenging the decision to locate the high school there.

After settlement of the lawsuit, an official groundbreaking ceremony was held in October 2002. The board chose to hire Turner Construction company, instead of continuing to work with Jacobs Facilities, Inc., the firm that built Barrett Elementary, and the district became embroiled in another lawsuit. A settlement was reached with Jacobs earlier this year.

Marilyn Dubil covers education and law enforcement for The Times. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or phoning (408) 779-4106 Ext. 202.

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