Downey Unified breaks ground on Sussman Middle School modernization

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DOWNEY — Downey Unified broke ground July 11 on a new modernization and construction project that will result in a new two-story classroom building, a new gymnasium and complete modernization at Sussman Middle School.

Prior to July’s Downey Unified Board of Education meeting, Board members and representatives from the partnering construction and architect firms joined together to officially kick-off this new project.

The entire Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. John Garcia, new principal Dr. Connie Quintero, Swinerton’s Bonnie Martin, Westberg White Architecture’s Rand Nicholl and Rachlin Partners’ Alan Kong were present to place their shovels in the ground to mark the commencement of this next exciting project for Downey Unified.

Thanks to the Downey community for voting to pass Bond Measure O in 2014, numerous construction and modernization projects have been made possible throughout Downey Unified.

With Stauffer Middle School’s construction project currently in process, Sussman Middle School is next to undergo major facelifts to modernize the campus and classrooms as well as making the campus more secure for both students and staff.

Modernization of the Sussman campus will include a brand new two-story classroom building, gymnasium and library; an addition to the Administration building; reconfiguration of numerous classrooms; renovation of 14 restrooms; and campus-wide fire alarms, security, technology and accessibility upgrades.

On the exterior of campus, this project will also include a parking lot reconfiguration, an additional parking area and appropriate safety fencing.

“The Board of Education is so grateful to the Downey community for passing Measure O back in 2014. It is with those funds that we are able to provide more modern facilities and classrooms for our students and teachers leading the district further into the 21st Century,” expressed Board president, Nancy Swenson.

“I’m excited to see the start of the construction at Sussman which will, among other things, create a safer campus and update classrooms to meet enhanced technology needs. All of our students deserve the best and, with the support of Measure O funds, we are more able to provide them with better facilities.”

Jointly working on the architecture side of this project are firms Westberg White Architecture Inc. and Rachlin Partners. Heading the construction end of the project is Swinerton, a commercial construction and construction management service. This construction project is estimated to last 18 months given any disruption with structure issues and/or weather conflicts.

Griffiths Middle School is the next Downey Unified middle school in line to receive large modernization updates thanks to Measure O. An official ground breaking will take place in August to kick-off this project.

Doty Middle School will be the final middle school to begin construction, which is estimated to start by next summer.

Contributed by Downey Unified School District.

NewsStaff Report