Construction update: new Student Services Building and portables


Kathleen Zhu

The Student Services Building undergoing construction. This project is one of two that will affect the LAHS campus in the coming years.

A pair of construction projects will transform the LAHS campus next year: one will modify the 400 and 500-wing buildings, and another — the construction of the Student Services Building — prepares for its conclusion. Here’s what to look forward to.

The overhangs and windows in the 400 and 500 wings will be replaced, and the storage compartment in front of the pool will also be turned into two Physical Education-focused spaces. In addition, the current 500s west wing will be replaced with a building that will house multi-purpose rooms and an athletic director’s office. 

In order for construction vehicles to access these areas, teachers in rooms 501–507 and 401–407 will need to move to portable classrooms.

“I’m not excited about moving into the portables because it’s pretty far and isolating from the rest of campus,” English teacher Arantxa Arriada said.

However, this isn’t the only current construction project. A second project, housing offices for school counselors, administration and mental health services near the library, is set to open next year. It will also comprise a space dedicated for students to relax, equipped with a balcony and a “learning lounge” on the second floor. The building will also open up an old staff parking lot with 25 spaces. Moreover, all its bathrooms will be ungendered.

Eddie Van Slambrouck — studio lead at Quattrocchi Kwok Architects —  and his team were brought on to design the Student Services Building and classroom updates. They considered the building’s atmosphere by carefully planning natural light, air and views.

“Our focus is really to make the best-performing space for education that we can,” Van Slambrouck said. “The new Student Services Building was one of my favorite projects that I’ve designed. I’m really looking forward to seeing it in action.”

These recent construction projects are being funded by Measure E, passed in 2018, which raises $295 million for construction at Mountain View–Los Altos schools, funded by an increase in property taxes. While that sum of money may sound like a lot, construction isn’t cheap.

“Procuring materials is much more difficult now than it was even just a couple years ago,” Van Slambrouck said. “This area is actually the most expensive place to build in the world, so every dollar we spend is very precious.” 

Construction on the 400 and 500 wings is scheduled to continue until the beginning of the 2025–26 school year.

“I hope students understand this investment next year is going to be a hassle, but it will be worth it,” Assistant Principal Galen Rosenberg said.