Milpitas, Calif., August 17, 2022 – Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) recently celebrated the groundbreaking of the MUSD Innovation Campus (Campus) – a first-of-its-kind high school, adult education, early childhood education research and workforce development center. Located on the site of the former Samuel Ayer High School, the MUSD Innovation Campus will be a hub for future-ready learners of all ages to connect with local businesses and partner organizations within classrooms and labs tailored to provide a real-world education. The ceremony was attended by district staff and school board, the Milpitas Mayor and City Councilmembers, Ayer High alumni, community members and the project team, including builder Blach Construction (Blach) and designer Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA).
“This project is an exciting step for our schools, for our community, and for public education as a whole. MUSD could not be more proud to be driving this new era of progressive, future-forward learning that is taking shape in Milpitas,” said Cheryl Jordan, Milpitas Unified School District superintendent. “Thank you to our community and key partners, especially KLA Corporation, for their generous support of this state-of-the-art education campus, and to our skilled project team, whose expertise and guidance continue to maximize the potential of our vision.”
The 99,000 sq. ft. Campus will comprise six new two-story buildings, as well as one modernized building, replacing much of the existing facilities of the former Ayer High School-turned-MUSD Adult School and MUSD District Office. In their place, classrooms, experimental learning labs, career simulation facilities, and science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) labs will facilitate a wide variety of programming supported by flex spaces and outdoor learning quads and courtyards. The site will also include office space for the District. Through partnerships with community colleges and universities, as well as local businesses, the MUSD Innovation Campus will provide training and education that support growing and emerging career fields and practical career simulation. This novel academic institution will prepare Milpitas students of all ages for the local – and global – job market.
“Early in our engagement with MUSD, it became clear that the District’s vision would result in a truly unique learning experience for the Milpitas community and Bay Area at large,” said QKA President and Principal Aaron Jobson. “Drawing on our depth of experience designing next generation learning facilities and our close collaboration and longtime partnership with Blach, we have created dynamic and flexible learning environments that will evolve with ongoing curriculum advancements.”
The new facilities will support a wide variety of programming, including adult education, business entrepreneurship, robotics, biology, virtual reality, AV production, coding, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer science and virtual design and construction, as well as simulation for legal, financial, manufacturing and health career training. The MUSD Innovation Campus will provide dedicated space for MUSD’s Adult School, Calaveras Hills High School and additional facilities for Milpitas High School students.
“We are thrilled to commence work on this progressive campus. Not only is this project tightly aligned with our dedicated approach to quality, partnership and innovation, it is sure to have a significant and positive impact on the future of Silicon Valley, a region we have continued to enhance for more than 50 years.” said Blach Vice President of Operations Keith Craw. “Leveraging our prefabricated and customizable Folia building system will allow our team to meet the project’s sustainability goals and ambitious timeline without sacrifice to scope. We join MUSD and the broader Milpitas community in celebrating this monumental milestone for education.”
In order to achieve the specialization required and provide the square footage desired to support these programs, Blach and QKA will utilize Folia, its patented, prefabricated classroom building solution developed jointly with GPLA Structural Engineers. The durable, cost-effective two-story Folia floorplan can be easily adapted and expanded to support the evolving programmatic needs of the MUSD Innovation Campus. Additionally, Folia’s inherent high-efficiency design will support core sustainability goals for the project, which is pursuing Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) certification and will be powered by MUSD’s existing photovoltaic system. Each building will include sustainable materials, energy efficient lighting, all-electric mechanical systems, stormwater catchment and water-efficient landscaping.
MUSD Innovation Campus is set to come to life in three phases. Phases one and two are slated to complete in Summer 2023 and Summer 2024, respectively, while phase three, which includes the workforce and education research centers, should be complete by Fall 2025. MUSD continues to seek the support of individual financial partners like that of KLA Corporation to sponsor this first-of-its-kind bridge between local businesses, technical training and future-ready learners. For more information, please visit: https://www.musd.org/musd-innovation-campus-campaign.html
Additionally, just prior to the groundbreaking celebration, the community joined MUSD in marking the completion of the last phase of construction of Mabel Mattos Elementary School (Mattos). Named for Milpitas’ first historian who was famous locally for her apricot jam, the brightly colored school is now ready to welcome all students for grades TK-6 this coming 2022-23 school year. Both the MUSD Innovation Campus and Mattos projects were made possible by the incredible community support of Bond Measure AA.
About Milpitas Unified School District
Milpitas Unified School District is a beacon for learning for more than 10,000 students in early childhood through adult education. We have high expectations for every student and provide multiple opportunities and pathways for success. We provide learning opportunities for all and create nurturing environments where students are inspired and empowered. MUSD is an exceptional district in which students and staff are critical thinkers and trailblazers known for creativity and innovation. We prepare students to go out into the world and make a difference as responsible citizens who are passionate about life and learning. To learn more about Milpitas Unified School District, visit www.musd.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MilpitasUnified, or follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @MUSDFamily.
About Blach Construction
Founded in 1970, Blach Construction builds structures of enduring quality and value throughout California. The firm’s experience encompasses a broad cross section of education, housing, institutional, mixed-use and workplace building types, translating into a diverse portfolio that includes civic/community, healthcare, K-12 and higher education, hospitality, life sciences, professional services and technology facilities, as well as affordable, supportive and market-rate housing developments. With fluency in traditional and collaborative delivery methods – and true to their Silicon Valley roots – Blach continually incorporates advanced, innovative construction techniques, leveraging in-house prefabrication, self-perform and virtual design and construction expertise to offer greater efficiencies to projects and increased value to clients.
The firm consistently wins awards across the construction industry and general business community for projects, innovation, employee engagement and community service. Quality and safety are at Blach’s core. As a result, they are continually ranked as a “Top Contractor in California” by Engineering News-Record and have received multiple “Construction Safety Excellence Awards” from the Associated General Contractors of California. Additionally, and as a testament to their company culture, Blach has been recognized repeatedly since 2009 as a “Best Place to Work” in the Bay Area by the Silicon Valley Business Journal/San Francisco Business Times.