For nearly two years the Black Hole lay deserted, accompanied only by plots of dirt and mangled joints of steel and columns. That had been the story since the Thomas Fire struck Upper Campus in 2017. The site was only visited occasionally by students watching the sunset or a creature seeking shelter in the eerie scene of disfigured metal limbs, outstretched as if in rigor mortis.
However, this is no longer the case. As of November 7, the first piece of equipment arrived at the top of the hill to begin the first stage of work. To make up for the two months of lost time that was caused by the unforeseen delay with permitting issues, seven trucks made their way to Upper campus almost at the drop of a hat. One truck carrying an excavator, and the other six, ready to haul tons upon tons of dirt, along with what debris was left concealed within.
This change does not come unnoticed.
“[Construction] is a little bit annoying, but at the same time, something’s actually happening for once, which is nice,” said junior Gabe Weisiger of the new noise on the hill. For many, though occasionally distracting, construction is a welcome interruption to the silence that has plagued that hilltop for 23 months.
Currently, after clearing around 300 truckloads of dirt, only the excavator remains on the hilltop. Now alone, left with the weighty task of lowering the mound that housed the girls dorm by five feet, raising the one for the new Commons by one foot and lowering the dirt pile meant for the science building by three feet.
“It’s a big relief to know that we’ve started…because there was a lot of work to get us to this point. Still knowing that there is about a whole other year of a whole different level of work,” Mr. Floyd explained of his excitement with the progress. “I’m like a little kid every time I hear one of those trucks come by. It’s like, ‘What’s happening now?’”
The current timeframe suggests the construction of the body of the buildings will commence around March of 2020. By May, the shells will hopefully be completed, making them available for use by the 2020-21 school year. In the upcoming weeks, there will be a webcam filming construction as it unfolds over the next few months, available to watch on the OVS website.Share