September 15, 2023. This date marks an important moment in Milpitas history, as it’s when the ribbon cutting for Phase 1 of the MUSD Innovation Campus occurred.
Work on the Innovation Campus has been going on for nearly half a decade, since November of 2018, when members of the Milpitas community voted for Measure AA. Not only was Measure AA the largest bond for the school district thus far, at a total of $284 Million, but it also had the largest voter margin, with 71% of Milpitas citizens voting for it. Out of the $284 Million, $66 Million of the Measure AA bond will be used for the Innovation Campus.
The campus has plans to serve 2,700 students each year and will be open six days a week for twelve hours each day, offering programs in adult education, STEAM, technology, career development, and early childhood development.
The board has partnered with various groups to bring the campus to life. This includes the City of Milpitas, colleges such as San Jose State University and San Jose City College, and even manufacturing company KLA, which donated a total of $750,000 towards the project. Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) is the designer of the project, and Blach Construction is the builder.
With the ribbon cutting, Phase 1 of the Innovation Project is considered complete, bringing a total of four new two-story buildings to the site. The buildings were pre-engineered using the Folia building solution by Blach Construction and QKA, which allowed the building to be completed within a year. Currently, the buildings are home to the MUSD district office and Adult Education; Cal Hills high school students are also temporarily using the space, until phase two is completed.
Along with the Innovation Campus ribbon cutting, this event highlighted the various accomplishments made by the MUSD Board since Measure AA came into effect. These include (but are not limited to) the completion of the Mabel Mattos Elementary School, the transformation of Randall Elementary School to Randall World Languages School, and improved safety parameters for all MUSD schools.
The campus is housed in what was previously Samuel Ayer High School, the first high school that was part of MUSD. During the event, previous Samuel Ayer alumni were recognized for being part of the history of the district and the Innovation Campus. According to a letter by Superintendent Cheryl Jordan (read by Board Trustee Kelly Yip-Chuan during the event), “The Spirit of our Ayer High School foundation is made new in the MUSD Innovation Campus.”
The event was attended by many distinguished guests, including MUSD Board members, Milpitas City Councilmembers, Milpitas Police Chief Jared Hernandez, Assemblymember Alex Lee; and representatives of Supervisor Otto Lee, Congressman Ro Khanna, and Senator Aisha Wahab.
The MUSD Board received acknowledgments from the Milpitas City Council, Superintendent Otto Lee, Congressman Ro Khanna, and Senator Aisha Wahab.
Along with an acknowledgment, Assemblymember Alex Lee awarded the MUSD Board with $1.5 million to be part of the Innovation Campus’ budget.
MUSD Board President Chris Norwood stated during the event that “there is still more work to be done.” The end of Phase Two for the Innovation Campus will be finished by the summer of 2024; it will include two new buildings, both intended to be permanently used for Calaveras Hills High School students, while the Phase One buildings will be used as an extension for Milpitas High School. The final piece of Phase Three will be completed by the Fall of 2025; it will focus on the Early Childhood Development and Career Development programs.