Hart district breaks ground on Sierra Vista MPR project 

Dignitaries break ground on the new multi-purpose room at Sierra Vista Junior High School on Tuesday, 032624. Dan Watson/The Signal
Dignitaries break ground on the new multi-purpose room at Sierra Vista Junior High School on Tuesday, 032624. Dan Watson/The Signal
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How much does a modern multi-purpose room cost at a junior high school? 

The answer, apparently, is roughly $13 million. That’s how much the William S. Hart Union High School District is paying to have the MPR at Sierra Vista Junior High School upgraded, with district and school officials joining together last week to break ground to signal the beginning of the construction phase of the project. 

The project also calls for the kitchen to be modernized, bringing it up to standard with the other junior high schools in the district, according to Mike Otavka, director of facilities for the district. 

The event was attended by Superintendent Mike Kuhlman and Otavka, as well as governing board President Linda Storli and fellow board members Cherise Moore and Erin Wilson. Sierra Vista Principal Marcus Garrett was also on hand. 

Sierra Vista Junior High School principal Marcus Garrett, left, introduces Superintendent Mike Kuhlman of the William S. Hart Union High School District during the new multi-purpose room ground breaking ceremony at Sierra Vista Junior High School on Tuesday, 032624.  Dan Watson/The Signal
Sierra Vista Junior High School principal Marcus Garrett, left, introduces Superintendent Mike Kuhlman of the William S. Hart Union High School District during the new multi-purpose room ground breaking ceremony at Sierra Vista Junior High School on Tuesday, 032624. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We did get to shovel real dirt,” Storli said at last week’s board meeting. “Not fake dirt, but real dirt, at Sierra Vista’s groundbreaking. That was kind of cool. We had a golden shovel and real dirt.” 

The project is being funded through grants and the special reserve fund for capital outlay projects. The Wellness Center on campus is also set to be upgraded as part of the project. An outdoor area leading to the center is scheduled to be redesigned to beautify the area, Otavka said. 

“Right now, it’s just a plot of asphalt and that’s going to become an outdoor courtyard with the hardscape and landscaping, including trees,” Otavka said. “It’ll be a nice outdoor space that’ll be directly adjacent to the Wellness Center and the library in the multi-purpose room.” 

The MPR was last upgraded 30 years ago, Otavka said. 

William S. Hart School District Director of Facilities,  Mike Otavka, left, and Superintendent Mike Kuhlman examine the artist renderings of the new multi-purpose room at Sierra Vista Junior High School on Tuesday, 032624.  Dan Watson/The Signal
William S. Hart School District Director of Facilities, Mike Otavka, left, and Superintendent Mike Kuhlman examine the artist renderings of the new multi-purpose room at Sierra Vista Junior High School on Tuesday, 032624. Dan Watson/The Signal

“It’ll be a great gathering place for the school and also it’ll be a place for after hours for community gathering,” Otavka said.  

As the kitchen is now unusable during construction, Otavka said a temporary one is being set up and should be ready for use when students return next week from spring break. 

Construction is scheduled to continue throughout the rest of the school year and the next. The MPR and kitchen are set to open up for the start of the 2025-26 school year. 

The project is being constructed by Harik Construction out of Glendora. There are also $3 million in “soft costs,” Otavka said, which include contingencies, architect fees and any other costs not associated with the brick-and-mortar portion of the project. 

Sierra Vista Junior High School ASB President Avery James, left, and principal Marcus Garrett join the ground breaking ceremony for the new multi- purpose room at Sierra Vista Junior High School on Tuesday, 032624.  Dan Watson/The Signal
Sierra Vista Junior High School ASB President Avery James, left, and principal Marcus Garrett join the ground breaking ceremony for the new multi- purpose room at Sierra Vista Junior High School on Tuesday, 032624. Dan Watson/The Signal

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