Lupin Hill expansion ready to begin



IN THE WORKS—The Culver City-based architecturalfirm Rachlin Partners shows a rendering of what the new Lupin school will look like. Artist rendering

IN THE WORKS—The Culver City-based architecturalfirm Rachlin Partners shows a rendering of what the new Lupin school will look like. Artist rendering

After nearly two years of planning, the remodel and expansion of Lupin Hill Elementary School in Calabasas is scheduled to start.

Rachlin Partners, a Culver City-based architectural firm, has designed the $8.2-million job and will oversee the construction.

The work will be completed in three phases starting May 14, said Kim Prince, spokesperson for Las Virgenes Unified School District. The project is being paid for with Measure G school bond funding.

Lupin Hill was built in 1972.

The first phase of the project will include the conversion of the school’s old multipurpose room into classrooms. The current MPR will be transformed into five full classrooms with a shared interior workroom and a counseling office. This phase of the project is expected to be completed over the summer and be ready in time for the new school year,

The second phase of the project will also start in the summer. Construction of a new multipurpose room will start in June but is not expected to be finished until August 2019.

The new MPR will span 5,800 square feet and include a teaching kitchen and restrooms. School officials expect that the kitchen will serve double duty as a cafeteria and as a way to teach children about cooking.

A vegetable garden is also being planned, and teachers hope to have students harvest and cook the produce to serve for lunch.

Phase three will deal with the before- and after-school program Camp Calabasas that needs to be moved so it doesn’t interfere with the new extended parking lot, which is also planned for completion during the third phase.

The extended parking lot has been designed to create better traffic flow, Prince said. To assist student pickup and drop-off, 44 new parking spaces will be added.

The camp will be moved to the south of the multipurpose room and at the end of the new parking lot loop.

“There were initial thoughts of a decorative wall in front of the camp, but that was eliminated when construction costs came in higher than originally planned,” Prince said.

A new portable building will be used as a fourth- and fifthgrade classroom for students with special needs.

Initially, a new lunch area with solar panels was planned for the renovation and expansion project, but rising construction costs mean that the old lunch shelter will remain.

Lupin Hill Principal Scott Foli said he and his staff are excited about the project.

“We are looking forward to the addition of our new classrooms and the counseling room,” he said.

“We can’t wait to have a brand-new kitchen, which will not only be used to make and distribute food to our students, but will be an educational tool for all our classes to visit and learn from. The new garden will be bigger and better than before, and it will have a direct connection to the kitchen, where we will use the food we grow to make healthy snacks,” Foli said.