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Wood Middle School Construction Update

Alamedans driving past Lum Elementary School may notice trucks and workers on the site this month. Those workers are preparing the campus to have its buildings removed starting in November.  

Lum Elementary School was built in 1959. It served students until 2017, when it had to be closed due to seismic risks. (Specifically, the buildings’ foundations were not sufficient for the highly liquifiable soil found on that campus.)

We honor and acknowledge the history of Lum Elementary and the memories that many of our community members have of that campus. At the same time, we are very excited about our plans to completely renovate Wood Middle School, including providing a new classroom building, a new library and administration building, a new gymnasium, and a beautiful new campus with gardens and outdoor learning areas.

The demolition of Wood’s current campus and construction of the new facility will take place July 2024 to July 2026. During that time, Wood Middle School will be housed in portable buildings on a temporary campus at the Lum Elementary site. Once the Wood construction is complete, Otis Elementary students will use the portables, while a new classroom building is constructed on their campus. When the Otis construction is complete (2028), the portables will be removed, as they are not suitable for housing permanent educational programs.

Why can portables be built at Lum when the former buildings were deemed unsafe? Again, Lum Elementary closed after seismic engineers found that the existing foundations were insufficient for the liquifiable soils (i.e., it was a combined effect of inadequate foundations and soil conditions). The portables chosen for Wood’s temporary campus will have foundations that are appropriate for that kind of soil, and California’s Division of the Architect will review and sign off on the entire project before the portables are placed.

The new design was created by a group of Wood staff and families in collaboration with Quattrocchi Kwok Architects and district staff. The Board approved the design at its June 27, 2023 public meeting. (You can find the presentation at AUSD will engage in a full CEQA process – called a “Mitigated Negative Declaration” – for the project beginning this month. That CEQA process will focus on the Wood campus project and include an environmental study, traffic study, and a cultural resources assessment, as well as a 30-day public review period during which community members, public agencies, and other organizations can provide comments on the environmental review. We will provide ample notifications about this review and how the public can participate.

The $80 million project is being funded by a combination of Measure I and Measure B bond revenue, and we remain grateful for the generosity of Alameda’s community members in supporting AUSD’s facilities work.

More information about this project is available on our Wood Middle School Construction web page.