Kearny High School, home of the Komets, already boasts a modern athletic complex – one of the newest athletic fields and facilities within the San Diego Unified School District – and the campus continues to receive state-of-the-art amenities. This spring, another new addition to the 75-year old campus will be completed: the CTA Design and Innovation Lab, which has been in construction since July of this year.
Formally known as the Construction Tech Academy Innovation and Design Building, this sustainable design classroom is for students interested in architecture and engineering careers. At Kearny High School, 11th grade students take Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA). Through classes led by Shadi Pejuhesh, the Civil Engineering and Architecture/Principles of Engineering Instructor, students learn important aspects of building design, construction, site design and development, and then apply their knowledge to re-purpose a commercial building.
Excitement is palpable on campus surrounding this project. Ms. Pejuhesh said “Students have been very curious about the construction taking place. The overall look and feel of the building is modern, which will be inspiring to our engineering students. There are lots of great design elements such as building orientation, natural lighting, and acoustic integrated.”
On Monday, December 5th, SGPA Senior Associate Stephanie Antl and Travis Keltner visited the campus and met with students to give a site tour and short presentation about the design process. The two architects explained the design, construction, progress, and challenges of this project to 90+ of students.
Instructor Pejuhesh said, “The visit to the construction site on campus tied in well with the curriculum: For example, our juniors have been working in groups to foster creativity in San Diego by re-purposing the Old Public Library building into a new maker space called the Innovation Incubator. We have partnered with the City Council to make this project authentic.”
Kearny High School is comprised of four small schools. Students that are enrolled at Stanley E. Foster-School of Engineering, Innovation, and design (EID) take the series of engineering classes from 9th grade to 12th grade. All 11th grade students take CEA with the exception of few. This year, there are 70 students enrolled in CEA.
The CTA Building gives Kearny High School a competitive edge. Both the California Council on Teacher Education (CCTE) and the recently passed Proposition 51 encourage more students to go into technical or vocational training to be career ready after high school.