The groundbreaking for the new student union building at Hollister High School took place last month, with contractor Blach Construction leading the project.
The new facility will provide HHS with multi-purpose gathering spaces, including a state-of-the-art kitchen and food service area. Robert Rivas, speaker of the California State Assembly and an alumni of the San Benito High School District, spoke at the groundbreaking event on Oct. 26 which also featured school officials and community members.
“Our new Student Union is a marquee project for the community that will further enhance our Hollister High School campus and, more importantly, positively impact the needs of our expanding student body,” said SBHSD Superintendent Shawn Tennenbaum in a press release.. “Once complete, it will offer students new and centralized areas to meet, collaborate and study while enabling us to increase our crucial food service offerings.”
With nearly 3,500 students, Hollister High is the tenth largest high school in California in a growing city of over 46,000. Construction on the $14.3 million project is expected to be completed in late 2024 and is funded in part by the state, according to SBHSD.
Once completed, the building will be the last of 28 projects within the district’s facilities Master Plan at HHS. Blach Construction also spearheaded the building of a science and robotics lab classroom building; a technical education center; several athletics facilities; a maintenance, operations and transportation building and the Visual & Performing Arts and Academic Building.
Blach Construction was founded in 1970 and is based in Silicon Valley, specializing in education, housing, institutional, mixed-use and workplace building types.
The 8,500-square-foot student union building was designed by Aedis Architects, a Bay Area educational facilities designer with 70 years experience. The Hollister High project uses a customizable steel building structure which minimizes construction structural framing costs, according to the media release. The new facility will replace the current campus food service setup, which only accommodates about 65% of students, and will provide meals to an estimated 90% of the campus.
This new capacity will help address food insecurity for Hollister Hgh students, according to the district. The facilities will have a kitchen and food service space; indoor multi-purpose areas and an exterior quad.
“We have enjoyed a trusted and collaborative partnership with San Benito High School District, delivering many innovative projects alongside Aedis for the betterment of Hollister High School and its surrounding community,” said Blach project executive Brad Fannin. “Building the new Student Union Building is particularly gratifying, as it will enable all students to thrive at school, offering greater access to improved food service offerings and central gathering spaces.”