Press Release: 09.12.2017

New STEM Building for Bella Vista High School

Construction in progress at the new STEM building at Buena Vista High School

McCarthy and San Juan Unified School District (San Juan Unified), are pleased to announce the completion of Bella Vista High School’s science wing.

The innovative new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) building is a long-anticipated addition at Bella Vista, which has earned a reputation as having one of the region’s leading high school science programs. Development of the wing involved the repurposing and modernization of two aging shop buildings at the back of campus. Both buildings were stripped down and re-built into 11 next-generation classrooms that now tout much needed new flooring, lighting and window replacements, along with new teaching walls with built-in TVs. The building also features a 5,000-square foot flexible-learning space that has been nicknamed, “The Atrium.”

“The Bella Vista community has been working on getting a new science building for probably 25 years,” Principal Peggy Haskins said. “So to take these two under-utilized shop buildings and create this massive STEM facility was a brilliant idea … it has really turned out spectacular.”

Construction in progress at the new STEM building for Buena Vista High School

The STEM building is one of nine projects in the district supported by the four-phase Measure N Signature Project program, a $350 million bond measure passed by voters in 2012. After multiple community forums were held to determine each high school’s signature project, Bella Vista was deemed the most “shovel ready” to begin phase 1. Construction commenced in June 2016.

“It has been a very rewarding experience working with San Juan Unified on this 21st century learning environment that supports the skills needed to succeed in today’s educational environment and beyond,” said McCarthy Project Director Ian McQuoid. “Collaboration and communication are two of McCarthy’s guiding principles, and we have enjoyed the opportunity to work on a project that offers students and staff a flexible, open area that fosters these important ideals.”

To commemorate the completion and grand opening of the new wing, Bella Vista hosted a ribbon-cutting event on Sept. 6, which was attended by staff and students of Bella Vista, McCarthy, project architect Architectural Nexus and fellow members of the community. Photos are available upon request.

About McCarthy

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that spans all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with advanced technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 15th largest domestic general builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2017).  With approximately 1,850 salaried employees, the firm has offices in St. Louis; Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Portage, Ind.; Kansas City, Kan.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; Albuquerque; San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+.

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