Superintendent Dale Hansen said those at the district were eager to reveal the almost-complete building that will house administrators of Lammersville Unified School District.
“This is a big moment for our district, … big moment for our staff,” Hansen said during a tour allowed by a four-hour occupancy permit granted by San Joaquin County. “It’s been a challenge.”
Hansen said the 7,000-square-foot building was still undergoing some finishing. Doorknobs were absent, and concrete around a portion of the exterior had just been poured Wednesday.
The goal for the district office — necessitated by the expansion from an elementary district to a unified district, which will eventually include a high school — was to create a simple but functional working environment, Hansen said.
The original designs presented to the architectural firm of Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto showed a single-story building. Hansen said the district later learned that those designs did not meet the standards set in the Mountain House Master Plan.
The designs received input from the community services district and the county planning department, which required a building with a two-story appearance to match future two-story town center buildings.
Hansen said it was satisfying to have the staff under one roof after working out of several buildings during the past seven years.
Although the space is too big for now, Hansen said the district would grow into it, particularly as plans for a high school progress. Before August, he said, the district intends to hire an assistant superintendent and a high school principal, who will also have an office in the new building.
The cost of the building and its land, about $3.2 million, cost the district nothing, because it was donated by Mountain House developers Trimark and Shea Homes.
During this week’s open house, a number of the unified board members and the elementary school district board toured the facility.
“It’s nice,” said James Hiramoto, recently retired unified board member. “I wish it hadn’t taken this long — we started two years ago. I’m very pleased. The architect did a great job.”
Board President Matthew Balzarini called the building beyond nice, but he said he also fought to keep the building simple and favored the original designs.
“It’s more than we ever expected,” he said. “I’m very impressed with the board room, and we’ll be able to stream meetings (online) like the community services district (board) in a few months.”
District officials said they anticipated moving into the new office permanently in a couple of weeks.