High school district board reviews plans for new TPHS science classrooms in Carmel Valley

By Karen Billing

The San Dieguito Union High School District board took a look at the plans for new science classrooms at Torrey Pines High School at its Sept. 19 meeting. The project is one of many funded by Prop AA, the $449 million bond initiative that passed in November 2012 to upgrade district facilities.

At Torrey Pines, the new four-room chemistry building will be built where the existing weight room portable is located near the sports fields. Joe Mansfield, principal from the Roesling Nakamura Terada Architecture firm, said the plan is to create four-classrooms with a shared prep space where teachers can collaborate, as well as an outdoor area between the existing science wing (known as building B) and the new building.

Where the science rooms now are relatively small (very few over 1,000 square feet), the labs in the new building will all be 1,350 square feet, bringing them on par with classrooms seen at Canyon Crest Academy and La Costa Canyon.

The exteriors are designed to match the existing Torrey Pines campus, which poses a bit of a challenge as the fluted brick blocks used for the majority of the campus were custom-made in the 1970s. Mansfield said the idea is for the finish to be as close as possible to the existing bricks, although the dimensions of the bricks will be a little different.

The TPHS science classroom building project is scheduled to start next summer (2014) and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2015. At that point, renovations would begin in the B Building science classrooms.

“The weight room is currently programmed to go into the existing gym as it is remodeled after the new, larger gym is built,” said Eric Dill, associate superintendent of business services. “We are looking at other options, however, and it may end up being a separate building near its current location. [But], we are still investigating that option.”