Always forward . . . Junípero Serra High School moves ahead!
We are excited to unveil plans to modernize and renovate various portions of our campus, with construction beginning May 23. For the past three years, Serra has prioritized an aggressive rebuilding of its academic facilities. This work began in the middle of COVID with construction of the Pereira Center for Robotics and Engineering, a comprehensive upgrade of the school’s technology infrastructure and a $300,000 Apple technology platform upgrade. This infrastructure work has been accompanied by robust professional development over the past 10 years for teachers to integrate technology into their curriculum.
With a goal to provide a modern campus for our current and future students, we have created a phased plan to renovate Serra’s facility and are ready to move on the next significant renovation, The content on this web page will help our community understand the project timeline and scope.
Preparations for this project began this month. We have cordoned off the front facade of the building at Stratford and 20th Avenue to prepare for our exterior work. There will be no entrance to the building from the front of Mary’s Courtyard. However, the majority of the work will be interior with renovations to our administrative wing and library. We expect that we will be completed and ready to welcome our community into the renovated space by March 2023.
Serra High School Groundbreaking
June 8, 2022
Serra began with a comprehensive renovation of the school's academic wing. In 2020, the school completed an initial $500,000 electrical infrastructure upgrade that would allow progress forward on the larger project. The following summer, Serra contracted with Ratcliff Architects and Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company to begin the complex renovation of the academic classroom.
Working closely with the design team, the leadership team decided on a phased rebuilding plan that would allow renovations without having to move students into portables during the school year. The initial design and construction were completed in the summer/fall 2021, and included four classrooms, HVAC in 10 classrooms, seismic upgrading, and a department office.
Concurrent with this rebuilding effort, the Serra Board of Regents led a strategic planning process to provide a plan moving forward. The one and one-half year process involved board members, faculty, alumni, parents and students. The resulting comprehensive five-year strategic plan, Transforming Lives, clarified Serra’s vision and prioritized the planned academic wing rebuilding efforts.
In line with the plan, the design team spent the 2021-2022 school year completing the architectural design and building plans for the next phase of the project, the Center for Learning and Innovation. Serra secured loans, financing and philanthropic support in preparation for the significant renovation.
The new center will provide a home for the design thinking room and Serra’s design led innovation program, where global student collaboration, creative thinking and inspirational problem solving will be the curriculum for the day. In its fifth year, the program is the envy of the region. Using design-thinking principles, students create a culminating project in Solutions for the Common Good. The new Design Led Innovation Lab provides students a dedicated space to create, think and brainstorm. This space will inspire and fuel student imagination and collaboration. This is a space where students learn and recognize that they can make a difference with their academic contributions.
This past year, students in the Creative Solutions class presented Ted ED talks with the Nagoya International School in Nagoya, Japan. Serra also partnered with Parklands- Parklands College, South Africa throughout the year. For the final presentation, we invited guests from all over the world and had 19 different countries represented.
Serra Global extends this reach with speakers who inspire Padres to see beyond the walls, with the only limitation being their imagination. Speakers have included Brett Kopf, Co-founder of Remind, which as been described as the most successful educational technology app in history; Azure Grimes from Libraries Without Borders; Lex Gillette, a globally recognized Paralympic track and field athlete for Team USA; and Carey Nachenberg, who spoke about autonomous vehicles and the complexity of science and business.
These programs will leverage professional expertise and an innovative spirit that will support and ensure an exceptional educational experience for our Padres and will catapult Serra into a leadership position in the country.
Stinson Center for Learning and Innovation
Junípero Serra High School is pleased to announce the construction of the $17.5 million Stinson Center for Learning and Innovation. The 13,000-square-foot learning space, previously known as the Zoph Library, will be reimagined into a state of the art student center. The project is made possible by the incredible $7.5 million donation made by Serra Alumnus Ken Stinson ‘60 and his wife Ann Stinson.
Opening in March 2023, the space will support student collaboration, Serra’s design-led innovation program, international student connection, and the Serra Global speaker series. New facilities will include student collaboration rooms, presentation facilities, offices, video screens, and renovated adult and faculty bathrooms. Critical infrastructure upgrades, including a comprehensive seismic upgrade and HVAC system are included in the project.
On Wednesday, June 8, the Serra community gathered to host an official ground-breaking ceremony and reception to celebrate the building of this extraordinary project. Members of the alumni community, the parent and student community, the Board of Regents, faculty, staff and student leadership attended the ceremony, which was held in a cordoned off area in Mary’s Courtyard. The ceremony included a drop down vinyl sign with an artist’s rendering of the sleek and modern easter facade of the new building.
The Stinson Center for Learning and Innovation is a project that comprises the next phase in Serra’s comprehensive renovation of the academic wing. This state-of-the-art facility will house a learning commons where students can be inspired, collaborate on problem solving and create “solutions for the common good.” The space will accommodate a presentation center for speakers to share ideas and teachers to engage their students and colleagues in research.
Serra’s design-led innovation and Serra Global programs, where the walls of class extend across continents, will find a home in the new facility. Parents, students and faculty will use the new space as an event center to gather in celebration.
Ken Stinson is the Chairman Emeritus of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc., headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, one of North America’s largest and most respected construction and engineering organizations with 2021 revenues of $12.1 billion. He is a 1960 graduate of Serra and a 1964 civil engineering graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Ken served two and a half tours in Vietnam as a Company Commander with a U.S. Navy SEABEE Construction Battalion. After his military service, he returned to school, earning his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. He joined Kiewit in 1969 and was assigned to some of Kiewit’s most notable projects, holding various engineering and management roles. Ken was elected to the Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. Board of Directors in 1986, named CEO of Kiewit Construction and Mining Group in 1992 and Chairman and CEO of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. in 1998. He retired as CEO in 2005 and Chairman in 2012. Over the past 40 years in Omaha Ken has held leadership positions in numerous civic and charitable projects and organizations.
Ken and his wife Ann have six children and seven grandchildren. Three of the children live in the San Francisco Bay area, one in Los Angeles and two in New York City.