Watsonville High School cafeteria
A major rebuild of the Watsonville High School cafeteria/multi-purpose room is in the final stages of completion. — Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE—The major renovation of the Watsonville High School cafeteria is moving ahead, with floor tile installation near completion and last minute touches being done.

General contractor Avila Construction is heading up the project, estimated at $3.3 million. It is the school’s final allocation from Measure L, the $150 million bond approved by voters in 2012.

Work began at the start of 2019, and was projected to wrap up in time for the first part of the 2020-21 school year.

The work includes:

• installing new flooring

• a new vaulted ceiling 

• retooling the food service line

• updating restrooms, the cafeteria stage and the heating and cooling system

• new outdoor benches

• new exterior walls

Richard Montalvo, who has worked as security for the campus for two decades, rode his bike around the area Thursday and marveled at the work.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “I mean, I knew this place from when I graduated here. They’ve done such a great job—the kitchen, the bathrooms, the big fans. I just wish the 2,200 kids would be here to enjoy it. One day it will come.”

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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