The numbers are staggering, but a tour of the Barth Athletics Complex at Huntington Middle School provides even more impressive “optics,” in the current vernacular, of a facility that will be a true game-changer in the community.
The new structure (8,770 sq. ft.) more then triples the recreation space of the previous “gym” (2,700 sq. ft.) that according to drawings from the 1930s was created as a “play room.”
When completed, the main gymnasium will seat 854 (compared with 375 at San Marino High School’s Dingus Memorial Fieldhouse) with an upstairs multi-purpose room that adds another 4,060 square feet of recreational space.
A new fitness center checks in at 2,150 square feet, more than triple its 700 sq. ft. predecessor. Two state-of-the-art media classrooms are currently being outfitted with conduit and hardware to bear the weight of new video screens.
To simplify matters, Huntington Middle School volleyball players will no longer have to stand in the foyer to serve the ball without stepping over the boundary line. That was before they moved their games outdoors to avoid the crowd and clutter.
At the January 22 meeting of the San Marino School Board, Assistant Superintendent of Business Service Julie Boucher reported that the $16 million project is more than 80% completed, on budget, and will be ready to go when the 2019-20 school year opens in August.
The building has 45,000 blocks, 1,400 cubic yards of concrete, 200,000 pounds (or 100 tons) of rebar and 280,000 pounds (140 tons) of structural steel and is being built in accordance with State standards for schools, according to Gerald Schober, who serves as project manager of the building, which will measure out at 24,873 total square feet at ribbon cutting.
Schober has designed the building so that community members can use public restrooms inside the Barth Athletics Complex during events such as San Marino National Little League games, even if the main gymnasium is closed at the time. Schober also touted a bevy of new drinking fountains with water bottle-filling apparatus, including three outdoor fountains.