The phased project is scheduled
for completion in June 2013.

MERCED, CA-Commercial builder Bernards is progressing on construction of El Capitan High School here, a $76-million project for which the firm was selected by Merced Union High School District to build. Bernards broke ground on the phased project in June 2011 and is scheduled to complete it in June 2013.

San Jose-based BCA Architects designed the 220,000-square-foot project, which encompasses nine buildings, including an administration building; library; new classrooms for the English and language arts, math, science, agriculture and special-education departments and science and IT laboratory facilities; agricultural, metal and auto shop; a full-service cafeteria; and a full theater that includes an open assembly hall with band and orchestra areas. The project also involves developing new athletic fields including a grass football field, crushed-clay track, competition baseball and softball fields and bleacher, and a gymnasium that will house a main gym, locker rooms, practice gym, wrestling room and coaches’ offices.

Construction of the high school involves extensive site work to grade the 58-acre site where the school will be situated and connect campus infrastructure to existing city streets and underground utilities. This will include relocating utilities, paving road and sidewalks and installing traffic signals, fencing and landscaping. has learned that one of the innovations of El Capitan High School is a plan to share its gymnasium and theater facilities with the city for public use, which earned the project a substantial state grant for construction costs. “Merced’s $100-million investment in this prestigious, 21st-Century high school with its one-of-a-kind design is part of a very substantial plan for growth on the city’s north side, focused around the new, 6,000-student University of California Merced, which continues to add new construction,” Bernards project manager Michael Conley tells “The high school is Merced’s largest capital project in recent years, along with the $250-million UC Merced hospital. As the city’s planners envisioned, the integrated general plan is spurring several new developments, including hotel and retail projects and a new police substation.”

As reported exclusively in October, Mira Costa High School is being renovated, modernized and expanded by Bernards in a $45.8-million, three-phase project expected to be completed in December 2014. The project, which broke ground last November, is being implemented in three phases to accommodate students and regular school activities on the existing campus, which will remain fully occupied and functional during all three phases of construction.