Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Construction continues: Renovations to conclude in December

TOWER OVERVIEW — Overlooking the top of the Tower Building, this drone photo shows the meticulous process of transforming the old roof and the Palo Alto High School bell tower. “At some point,” Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said, “just the infrastructure needs to be taken care of.” Photo: Kensie Pao

For the two thousand students walking past Palo Alto High School’s Tower Building hearing the constant sounds of loud construction, it is difficult to imagine what the new modernized Tower Building will look like. With a new welcoming entryway, a spacious patio, a newly installed elevator, and classrooms with updated technology, renovations on the Tower Building will finish in December.

According to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson, construction began last fall, and due to how smooth the process has been and how most of the original framework is being kept, renovations are planned to finish earlier than expected.

Nevertheless, Berkson says the design and construction process has been complex.

“Every time we have a construction project, a committee is formed [by the school district] and we go over the needs and the wants,” Berkson said.

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Juan Perez, a supervisor for the demolition company working on renovations, said that the school environment has also created challenges for construction.

“The more challenging thing is trying to work around students, so you guys could keep going and studying,” Perez said.

According to Berkson, the students should look forward to the benefits the renovated building will bring.

“There will be a new, more welcoming entryway for when people come in and a nurse’s office that allows us to have a quarantine room,” Berkson said.

The library in the Tower Building will return to its original look and become the peer tutoring center, three or four times the size of its current room.

In addition to a new elevator, technology and patio, a new roof, windows and stucco, new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will be installed, all costing $23.4 million, Berkson said.

“It’s just time,” Berkson said. “We had a building that was about 100 years old, with a 100-year-old HVAC and [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] and electrical system so just the infrastructure needed to be taken care of at some point.”