News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

Los Alamitos High School scheduled to undergo modernization projects

Starting this year, the Los Al campus will start to see some changes
Los Alamitos USD
A digital rendering for a possible design for Los Al’s new competition gym.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA – Originally built in 1967, the Los Alamitos High School campus has stood the test of time. However, with new safety regulations, building codes, and a need for modernization, Griffins can expect some changes to Los Al facilities and classrooms.

Needless to say, the Los Al campus has already seen additions within the past few years. After the Los Alamitos Unified School District Board of Education passed the Measure G and Measure K bonds in 2018, the Griffin community saw the rise of the new aquatics center, upgrades in infrastructure, and construction of the new STEM building.

CJ Knowland, Director of Facilities, Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation for LAUSD, said that the bonds will continue to fund more projects on campus, especially the new gym. The estimated completion date of all the new construction is  approximately two and a half years.

Principal Kraus said that a digital marquee will be installed in the PAC, campus bathrooms will be renovated, bathrooms will be added, and classroom remodels will continue to take place. The construction of a new gym will break ground as soon as winter break this year. Mrs. Kraus said there is a plan to create a functional quad pavilion space for students in the area behind the PAC.

The modernization will also involve reusing the old portable classrooms near the athletics fields to provide storage space for teams and performing arts groups.

“It’ll look good for the campus, a fresh beginning,” said sophomore Emi Tsouras. “I hope everything will become more open for sports and performing arts when the second gym is built.”

Mrs. Kraus said that there is a need for consistent branding and modern design throughout the campus, both inside and out. She explained that different areas on campus contrast with each other depending on when they were built. For example, the 600s rooms are somewhat outdated compared to the 21st century STEM building. 

We try to look at what is going to be modern for a long time. There’s a lot of effort to have simple clean lines.

— Mrs. Kraus, Los Al principal

Mr. Knowland said that the goal during the construction process is to minimize the impact it will have on students and their daily schedules. The only thing students might need to worry about is how the new construction of the gym may affect the student parking lot and athletic fields.

“Due to the high school being an active campus, we are very limited in time to actually perform the construction,” Mr. Knowland said. “This work essentially has to be completed during the short summer window.” 

One of the major projects on campus is the renovation of classrooms on campus. Last summer, the 100s, 150s, 300s, and 400s classrooms were renovated. This summer in 2024, the 600s, 700s, and 800s rooms are scheduled to be remodeled. During the summer of 2025, the PAC and any remaining rooms will be renovated. There is also a plan to move departments closer together on campus, making it easier for students to find their classes and for teachers to work together. Mrs. Kraus said that there is a need to renumber classrooms to make the campus more navigation-friendly.

Mrs. Williams, an English teacher at Los Al, moved classrooms last summer from the 800s rooms to the 400s, all the way across campus, so that English teachers could be closer together. Though she looks forward to the modernization on campus, she does not believe that proximity improves collaboration. She said that it is the teachers’ choice to collaborate with their colleagues, not their location, that forces them to work together.

“I appreciate that I am still next to my very close friends, people that I consider more than colleagues now,” she said about her new location. “While I understand the overall goals of the move, I will stand by what I said.”

Mrs. Franzen, who teaches Modern Literature, AP Literature, and Journalism, did not move classrooms but instead had to have her room renovated last summer. She said that she was grateful for the remodel because of the deteriorating carpet, old ceiling tiles, and other aging infrastructures in her room. She described how, though the construction process will be stressful, it will make a positive impact in the long run.

The changes that we make today are not for us. The changes that we make are for the kids 10 years from now. All of these things are good. I think it’s getting there and getting through the process that doesn’t feel good. We’re in the middle of that and we’re living it, so that’s not always great.

— Mrs. Franzen, Modern Lit. teacher

Many Los Al students look forward to having a refreshed campus. However, some doubt the need for a new gym, while others think it will be beneficial.

“I think the renovations were needed because the buildings are old,” said senior Nandi Smith. “But with the new gym, I don’t think it’s really necessary because we already have a gym. I think it’d be necessary to put [the school district’s] money towards other things like programs.”

Josh Dixon, a senior, also shared the belief that the new gym is not necessary, and thinks that the current Los Al gym is just fine. On the other hand, he believes that the rest of the campus modernization will have a positive effect on the student body.

“All of this is going to impact students at Los Al in a good way because it brings out more opportunities in classrooms like in the STEM building and new teachers,” he said. “Also the [new] gym; everything [will look] cleaner and nicer.”

Students said that, while current Griffins will see the transition from old to new, future freshmen will have an entirely different campus than alumni.

“Current students [will] get a change of the school that they knew, [but] incoming kids [will have] a better learning environment and a better gym and bathrooms to be in for the next four years,” said Brynnley Evink, a freshman. 

Los Al’s campus is scheduled to continue undergoing construction and modernization. With the goal of providing a safe and beautiful high school to the Los Al community, students and staff can expect to see major changes on campus over the next few years.

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About the Contributor
Katie Arnoult
Katie Arnoult, Editor | Reporter
Katie Arnoult is a sophomore at Los Alamitos High School and an editor for the Griffin Gazette. She was the Editor-In-Chief for the McAuliffe Birdwatch during middle school and has begun working with The Youth Center's marketing committee this year in Los Alamitos. She loves to write articles about underrepresented groups at Los Al and about student life on campus. This year, she hopes to write more book reviews and about performances at Los Al. Her hobbies include photography, graphic design, reading, and playing with her dog, Jett. You can contact Katie at [email protected].
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Comments (3)

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  • L

    Lori FranzenSep 19, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    I love what you had to say here.

  • S

    Sydney ForsyteSep 16, 2023 at 12:14 am

    This article is so well written, and I love how the photos really help you visualize the changes that will be made.

  • J

    Jasmine LeeSep 15, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Wow! I didn’t even know this was happening but a really good article and I really loved the input of student and teacher perspectives