Months before the school opens its doors, McBride High School is already a place where teaching and learning are happening. For Alfonso Tejeda, the construction site is a living classroom. Amid the piles of steel and concrete and unfinished buildings, he says he saw “art turned into something for every day use.”
Since he was a small child, Alfonso knew he wanted to become an architect one day. Now a sophomore at Jordan High School, he was among ten Jordan students who, in November, got a behind-the-scenes tour of the school. Located at the corner of Los Coyotes Diagonal and Parkcrest in East Long Beach, McBride is the first high school to be funded by Measure K.
As participants in the ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) Mentor program, these students were invited to the construction site by Robert Cruz, project manager for Hensel Phelps, the general contractor for the $75 million project. Also on the tour were five Cal State Long Beach students who participate in the mentorship program.
As a graduate of Cal State Long Beach, Cruz said he was mentored while he was in school by professionals in construction, architecture and engineering. Now he is a mentor, designated by his employer to conduct outreach in schools and universities.
“Our goal is to give students a realistic view of these professions,” said Cruz. “Thereʼs just so much that can be taught in the classroom.” The site visit started with an overall job orientation, followed by an introduction to safety and protocols for active construction sites.
The highlight was the campus tour, which provided a rare inside look at the skeleton of buildings before the drywall, doors, windows, ceilings and floors are installed.
“I was surprised at how open and modern the campus design is,” said Alfonso. “Itʼs also a lot smaller than other high schools and has a more comfortable feeling.”
McBride is the second school to be funded by Measure K, the $1.2 billion bond measure passed by local voters in 2008. Nelson Academy, a middle school in Signal Hill, was completed last summer and opened in fall 2012.
With construction scheduled for completion this June, McBride High will welcome its first freshman class in September 2013. The freshman class will consist of about 270 students, and each subsequent year, an additional 270 students will be added until the school has1,080 students in grades 9-12 in fall 2016.
Student applicants choose one of three pathways: Health/Medical, Public Service/Forensics or Engineering. A written essay on the supplemental McBride High School application is required, and students interested in the engineering pathway are expected to have a grade “B” or better in algebra.
For more information, click here.