Students and staff reflect on construction progress

by Shreeyans Sahu (’23) and Features Editors | February 14, 2022

Photo by Ava Hennen (‘22)

Over the summer, the 300 building and the cafeteria were reduced to a pile of dirt and rubble. But over the last few weeks, the empty plot has been transformed into an immense structure rising higher than the library. With the final beam installed, the Light the Way initiative is in full swing, and construction of the new “Makerspace” is set to conclude in January 2023.

The speed of construction has surprised many Lancers. “It’s really nice to see actual work on buildings because it’s moving really fast right now,” said Abhijit Nambiar (’24), who has been tracking the construction progress since the very beginning. 

Other students, including Krish Agarwal (’23), are excited about the progress since the completion of the building would allow for an increased variety in after-school activities. Agarwal, president of the Aviation Club in Portable Three, explained that “there are so many restrictions on things like clubs at the moment due to lack of space. I think this will really benefit us because we will finally be able to use it in ways like holding larger club meetings.” 

Several teachers are also excited about the opportunities the Makerspace will offer after its completion.

Ms. Shraddha Chaplot, who is involved in partnerships, programs, and projects regarding the new building’s Innovation Center, eagerly awaits the completion of the Makerspace. She feels that it will be a place where students can “discover things they are passionate about that they were never aware of before.” 

She also believes that students and teachers alike will have access to tools, equipment, and open space that create new, interactive ways to learn not only in the classroom, but also in the local and global community. She said that the Makerspace “is a space for everyone” and plans to create new training sessions to introduce these resources to all.

Mr. Chihiro Ikezi, a veteran Saint Francis physics teacher, also expressed enthusiasm about the new building. “When I started working here, [the administration] said they were considering making a new science building. And that was twenty-four years ago. From then, we’ve built the new library, gym, football stadium, and theater. So a lot of other projects have come along, and now we’re finally getting a science building,” he said. 

He also enjoys watching the construction of the new building because of his past experience working in the construction industry, including repaving the runway at the San Francisco International Airport and multiple bridges. “I’ve always loved construction. I’ve always played with Legos,” he continued. “I think we’re very lucky to be able to see the process.” 

Additionally, Mr. Ikezi mentioned that the livestream of the construction is available on the Saint Francis website, broadcasted using a camera on the library roof.

To celebrate the completion of the building’s foundation, Saint Francis staff hosted a beam signing ceremony on Monday, February 7. All students were able to sign their names on the final two beams that were installed in the edifice.

Ultimately, teachers and students alike anticipate an amazing renovation to the campus. “I’m super pumped,” said Mr. Ikezi. “In Silicon Valley, which is the epicenter of technology and math and science, I think [the new building] is a must.” 

He added with a laugh, “I’m looking forward most to the air conditioning.” 

Categories: Features

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