L.A.’s Westmark School Will Soon Have New Addition

By Eric Althoff

LOS ANGELES—General contractor Suffolk is hard at work on a new elementary school for the Westmark School, located in the San Fernando Valley community of Encino. The so-called Lower School will focus specifically on students with language-learning difficulties.

The Lower School was designed by NBBJ. The 25,000-square-foot, educational edifice will entail 10 classrooms, a theater, outdoor play areas as well as a centrally situated courtyard. The design incorporates such building materials as tropical hardwood lumber, exposed lumber panels, formed concrete and other sustainable resources. Its structure will employ a cross-laminated timber (CLT) system, which will provide durability in earthquake-prone Southern California.

In a recent news release about the project, Suffolk Los Angeles General Manager Ken Summers said the project will marry innovative construction practices and sustainability.

“At Suffolk, we are well-equipped to navigate the changing needs of the education system, helping build, renovate and upgrade facilities that will be here to support students and faculty for years to come,” Summers said.

Suffolks, which enjoys annual revenue of $5 billion, also recently completed the 10,000-square-foot Child Development Academic Facility at Pierce College for the Los Angeles Community College District. Engineering News Record has ranked the firm #23 on its list of “Top 400 Contractors.”

The Lower School is scheduled to be open for the fall.