By Dveen Hagopian and Katie Ryu
Plumbing contractors first broke ground on the Granada Hills Charter (GHC) high school campus under the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Plumbing Repair Project last summer. The project aims to remove and replace portions of the existing plumbing system and implement Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance improvements.
The plumbing repairs include replacing galvanized piping and plumbing features, repairing and replacing sewer lines, replacing and servicing ceiling gas lines, installing earthquake valves for the gas water heaters, and replacing fire sprinkler heads. The ADA compliance improvements include upgrading all restrooms to ADA compliant restrooms and providing path of travel reforms from the parking area to the bleachers, administration building, and C building.
Repiping has begun in H building and contractors have taken off the pipeline in the H building restrooms. There is a portable restroom just south of the H building, acting as a temporary restroom facility as the LAUSD Plumbing Repair Project begins moving forward to repiping the building.
As owners of the school site, LAUSD is running the project with GHC. Its representatives are working to minimize inconvenience and maximize efficiency on campus. However, the construction has obstructed walkways and temporarily closed restrooms, which has been inconvenient for students and staff.
“We meet with [the contractors] and LAUSD about once a week to update and help with scheduling because we have the insight on what’s happening on campus and they don’t,” Administrative Director David Bensinger said.
Individuals like Bensinger are actively working to minimize the disruptions on campus. For instance, the contractors were intentionally instructed to begin with the H building restrooms, considering that other buildings were more complex. This prevented the closure of even more restrooms and allowed the contractors to get a better understanding of what the construction in the other student restrooms could look like. Additionally, the contractors’ continuous work has made it so that the quad is scheduled to be finished at the end of winter break in January.
The contractors intentionally do all construction-heavy work after school hours, but they begin moving their equipment at around 2:30 p.m., during sixth period. Their work begins typically around 4:00 p.m and the extra time to position equipment allows the contractors to work faster.
This large school-wide project has created some inconvenience, but everyone involved is working to minimize distractions to the best of their ability. While originally budgeted to be a 500-day-project, this is an incredibly complex project with lots of unknown variables. We can expect this multi-year project to be part of our daily campus life.