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Maintenance & Operations Building Project

Update - May 28, 2024

The City of Huntington Beach Design Review Board (DRB) has approved the design and materials for the Huntington Beach City School District Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Building, and it has made several recommendations for the Zoning Administrator. These recommendations include moving the building east an additional 20 feet away from Breton Lane, increasing the height of the block wall between the District and residents from six to eight feet, softening the west building face, using matured trees, and adding additional lighting. District staff will now discuss the DRB recommendations with the project architect and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) consultant to evaluate any potential impacts. This is in preparation for the review by the Zoning Administrator meeting in June. We will provide updates as the project develops.

M&O Building Rendering

The Huntington Beach City School District plans to build the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Building on the Kettler site behind the District office. The District has been working with the City and other landowners in Huntington Beach for more than three years to determine a location for M&O building, which was previously located at Dwyer Middle School. The building was in disrepair, and its location conflicted with the optimum location of the Dwyer Gymnasium and STEM buildings. After an exhaustive review, the District Office site was the only viable option with the District's limited resources.

The District's M&O team is responsible for conducting regular inspections and preventive maintenance of facilities, maintaining the grounds (including lawns and planters), ensuring safe and secure facilities for students, and providing support for school operations, events, and activities. The new M&O building will offer an interior space for M&O-related work currently occurring in the parking lot, house equipment and supplies related to school site maintenance and operations, provide a space for M&O staff to collaborate and complete office work, and serve as a centralized warehouse to keep basic supplies used in instruction and custodial services. The new building is expected to mitigate noise levels as M&O activities currently occur outdoors in the parking lot. This facility does not have a mechanic's bay or fueling stations typically found in a maintenance yard. Since our operation is small, we contract with the high school district for fuel and use outside services for vehicle repairs.

The new M&O building will be built using local building standards in lieu of Field Act compliance, which is required for facilities attended by students and teaching staff. The M&O facility will not host students, allowing the District to choose the agency overseeing its construction. As a custodian of public funds, the District found the City's process to be quicker, more cost-effective, and better for community involvement. However, if local procedures result in cost or time issues, the District can still opt to follow the DSA process.

This project shows our commitment to providing cost-effective maintenance and operations services for our school community. Important information and dates will be added to this webpage as they become available. Dates are subject to change.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated 5/17/24

Why is the District going through the City for approval instead of the Division of State Architect (“DSA”)?

The M&O facility will not house students, allowing the District to choose the agency overseeing its construction. As a custodian of public funds, the District found the City's process quicker, more cost-effective, and allows for community involvement. The District could still follow the DSA process if deemed necessary.

Will the District construct an access road between Stilwel and the District Office?

There are no plans or intent to provide additional access roads to the District Office.

What will be the height of the building?

The building will have 14’-0” walls and a roof apex of 17-’6”.  The existing building is just over 15’-0” tall at the top of the wall.

What are the overall dimensions of the building?

The building is 215’ long by 35’ wide.

Where will the building be specifically located?

The building will be 71’ south of the existing building, 46’ north of the existing fence line, 22’-6” to the west of the property line, and 276’-7” to the east property line, as shown in the following layout.

Where can we find the current documents for the project?

Current documents are posted on the Maintenance and Operations Facility Project Webpage.

Why was the District Office selected to house the District Maintenance and Operations Facility?

The District has been working with the City and other landowners in Huntington Beach for more than three years to determine a permanent location. After an exhaustive review, the District Office site was the only viable option with the District's limited resources.

Where is the project in the Design Review process with the City of Huntington Beach, and What are the remaining steps for approval?

Studio W has submitted the project for Design Review.  The Design Review Board makes recommendations to the Planning Director, Zoning Administrator, and the Planning Commission and may impose conditions or modifications on projects reviewed. The Maintenance and Operations Building is scheduled for City design review, which approves color and materiality on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 3:30 PM. Upon Design Review, the board may approve or choose to provide conditions for design approval.   

Where is the project in the city approval process, and what are the next steps?

Studio W Architects have concurrently submitted to the City’s Planning Office for a Conditional Use Permit, Design Review Board, and Building permits.  Once the Planning and Building Department approves, their comments are incorporated into the design.  This project will include separate site work and building packages.

Will there be lighting on the west elevation of the building?

The design team will review the security lighting on the west elevation. Any additional lighting will be shielded to prevent spillage onto adjacent properties.

Will the Edison Park access from Brenton Lane remain open?

The District and City recognize the benefit of park access, and Edison Park will remain accessible from Brenton Lane. However, for safety reasons, the access may be temporarily closed during parts of construction.

Were different layouts of the facility reviewed as part of the design process?

Various layouts for the building in the back parking lot were considered.  Ultimately the design team, with the recommendation of the CEQA consultant, chose the location shown in the presentation. This location was determined to have the least environmental and noise impact to the surrounding community. 

What happens to the existing landscape, specific to the wall that will be built behind the building? Who is responsible for the damage? Will it infiltrate the root system?

We recognize that the block wall will impact the neighboring properties and have shared our concerns with the City. The wall is a City code requirement. The wall footing is designed to minimize any impact on the existing landscape. The intent is to maintain all work for the new footing and wall on the District property. District staff and the architect will invite the residents directly impacted by the wall for a dedicated meeting to provide an opportunity for further discussion. 

What is M&O, and what is the purpose of the M&O building?

M&O stands for Maintenance and Operations.  The District M&O Team is responsible for:

  • Conduct regular inspections and preventive maintenance of facilities
  • Maintain grounds, including lawns and planters
  • Ensure safe and secure facilities for students
  • Provide support for school operations, events, or activities

The M&O building will be utilized to:

  • Provide an interior space for M&O-related work currently occurring in the lot
  • House equipment and supplies related to school site maintenance and operations
  • Provide a space for M&O staff to collaborate and complete office work
  • Centralized warehouse for supplies for instruction and custodial uses

Will there be an increase in traffic or noise due to the M&O building?

The District does not anticipate additional noise from the M&O building since its primary functions already occur at the District office in the parking lot and storage containers. The new building is expected to mitigate existing noise levels, as M&O activities currently take place outdoors in the parking lot. Four ground workers will report to the M&O building instead of their current location.

What impact will the construction process of this building have on the surrounding community?

The building is a prefabricated metal structure where the pieces are manufactured offsite to fit together like a large erector set quickly.  This process will expedite the construction process and reduce the construction timeline.

What is the cost/funding for the project?

The M&O facility is estimated to cost approximately $3.5 million and will be funded by the proceeds from the sale of the Gisler property.

What mitigations will be put in place to minimize dust from the construction?

Dust during construction will be mitigated through various measures mandated by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). These include implementing dust control measures such as using water sprays, dust suppressants, and covering piles of materials.

Will the building impact the amount of parking at the District Offices?

The project will require additional handicapped parking and electric vehicle charging stalls. Reconfiguring the rear parking will ultimately result in 14 additional parking stalls.

What are the days/hours of construction?

Construction is anticipated to start in August 2024 and run through February 2025. It will comply with the City's requirements for hours of construction.

What are the M&O Building hours of operation?

Maintenance and Operations (M&O) staff work daily from 6:00 AM to 3:30 PM. The team deploys to the school sites in the mornings to maximize productivity before the students arrive.

What is the project's anticipated timeline?

Construction is anticipated to start sometime in August of 2024 and run through February 2025.

Is this project going through CEQA/EIR approval?

The project has completed the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, and the County of Orange recorded the Notice Of Exemption on 11/1/2023. The M&O Building was cleared through an exemption, so an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was not required.

Why was this project considered exempt from CEQA?

The proposed project involves moving the existing maintenance and operations activities into a new one-story, 7,525-square-foot building. The proposed construction of buildings would keep the number of employees and the facility's function and activities on the site the same. No off-site improvements would occur. The project site would continue to be used as a maintenance and operations facility but would move activities indoors. Therefore, the proposed project is exempt from CEQA under Guidelines Section 15303, New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures, which allows for the construction of new structures up to 10,000 square feet. The proposed project was also reviewed for possible exceptions under Section 15300.2 and found that none apply.

The City did not have a quorum for the Design Review Board meeting on May 9 to review the project, how will this affect the project timeline?

This is not anticipated to affect the overall project timeline.

How long will the work take on the new block wall that separates the neighbors' property from the District?

The contractor will determine the schedule, but the wall is anticipated to be completed in a few weeks. The contractor will need to secure the construction site from the residences and will place a temporary construction fence to separate this work from the backyards during construction.

From the Breton Lane properties affected by the city-required block wall, what distance from the current retainer wall will be affected by the construction?

The effects of the wall construction will depend on the contractor's method of construction and the final design of a 6-foot-tall wall. The 6-foot height will be measured from the District side, as the resident side is at a different elevation. Additionally, it will have to factor in the unique conditions of each backyard. This will be discussed on a case-by-case basis in meetings with individual residents, the District, and the Contractor. 

If the wall's construction damages trees, irrigation, or other items, will there be repairs or compensation?

The company completing the work will be licensed and bonded. The District is planning individual meetings with the affected neighbors to accommodate the unique needs of each property, considering the varying backyard conditions. The construction contract will cover necessary changes or repairs due to the construction of the city-required wall.

Can a property opt out of the block wall build? 

The City of Huntington Beach requires the wall, and the District cannot opt out on behalf of the neighbors.

Where are the air conditioning units located in the building?

The condensers for the air conditioning will be located in front of the building behind the visual screening.

How would an L-shaped building (instead of the proposed design) impact noise for the neighbors?

The proposed building along the residential property line provides a substantial noise barrier, which is better than existing conditions. An L-shaped building would create an opening between the site and the adjacent residences, which would eliminate the proposed building's noise-attenuating effect. The current site layout is preferable to an L-shaped building or any configuration that doesn’t provide a barrier along the residential property line.

Has the project addressed any methane testing?

Similar to most of southern Huntington Beach, the project site is located within Methane District 2. Section 17.04.170, Chapter 55 Methane District Regulations, from the City’s Municipal Code, sets requirements for new building construction within methane overlay districts, such as incorporating appropriate testing and standard mitigation measures to reduce the hazards presented by methane gas. The project will adhere to all of the required regulations and code requirements.