DIAMOND BAR, CA--Walnut Valley USD will host an official ribbon cutting ceremony for the 500 (Science) Building at Diamond Bar High School on Wednesday, September 21 at 4:00 p.m.
The two-story building features 18 state-of-the-art chemistry, biology, and physics classrooms with collaborative learning spaces.
“In my 25 years as a high school teacher, these are the most modern high school laboratory classrooms in the region,” lauded chemistry and physics teacher Jose Marquez.
The nearly $14.3 million modernization of the 38,790 square-foot 500 Building was funded by voter approval of Bond Measure WV passed in 2016.
Diamond Bar High faculty will lead a tour of the classrooms after the ceremony.
Longtime biology teacher Kerry Iwanaga, who taught 29 years in the original “dark and dingy” classroom echoed the excitement of his colleague.
“The new science classrooms feel so new and professional!” he shared.
“It’s like we’re teaching on a college campus!”
Spacious 1,600 square-foot classrooms have been designed to hold both lectures and labs with adjoining collaboration spaces located in the center of each floor.
“The amount of space that students have to learn and experiment is substantial,” Marquez said.
“Technology integrated in the science rooms and collaboration spaces allow teachers to modernize their lessons and better work with one another,” he added.
Classrooms have been outfitted with dual projectors, maker space workrooms, lab storage areas, and more.
“We are looking forward to an exciting year in science education!” exclaimed chemistry teacher Teresa Hubbard.
“The added technology such as vacuum lines and fume hoods will allow us to be able to offer a greater variety of labs to enhance student experiences in science,” she said.
The Board of Trustees awarded the contract to Robert Clapper Construction Services at the December 11, 2019 Board meeting.
The winning bid for the project designed by HMC Architects was $14,287,000.
Modernization commenced on February 10, 2020 with a duration of 545 days.
Teachers moved into the classrooms during the last weeks of summer.
“It feels so refreshing being in that room - I can already feel myself being happier!” remarked biology teacher Diana Wai on August 8, the first day of school.
“Perhaps it’s the lighting, the color scheme, or the anticipation of upgrading my lessons to make the most of that giant lab space!”
The outdated classrooms, built in 1982, originally housed English and history classes.
Iwanaga noted the connected lab spaces and natural lighting as his favorite features in the “bright, white, and shiny” learning spaces.
“They are wonderful!”
Diamond Bar High School is located at 21400 Pathfinder Road in Diamond Bar.
Walnut Valley USD will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the 500 Science Building at Diamond Bar High on Sept. 21.
DBHS Science Building Opens! Biology teacher Diana Wai welcomes students to state-of-the-art classroom on the first day of school.