Phoenix Union High School District is celebrating the start of construction for Central High School’s modernization project. The $9 million renovation includes the modernization of the school’s cafeteria, adding approximately 6,000 square-feet; expanding the school’s popular Culinary Program with the addition of a new demonstration area and culinary lab space; upgrading the safety and security of the building’s registration area; and significantly renovating the front entry of the campus, which is prominently located on Central Avenue, with a more welcoming look.

During the construction project, the cafeteria building will be bordered by a “mural fence” painted by Central High students and intended to provide Instagram backdrops, giving students a fun way to mark this highly anticipated campus modernization.

“One of our main initiatives this year is to build positive relationships, so I am really looking forward to seeing our students and staff enjoy the larger cafeteria. Central High School will feel more like a college campus, and it will provide the space to connect people to one another,” said Leticia Avalos, principal of Central High School. “In addition, our Culinary Arts Program will continue to thrive as a result of the modernization project. Our teachers are incredibly enthusiastic about the future of the program. This is simply an exciting time to be a Bobcat!”

McCarthy Building Companies was selected as the general contractor for the renovation project and Orcutt Winslow is the architect. The project will complete by the end of March 2019.

“Both McCarthy and Orcutt Winslow have been great partners to work with. They are friendly, professional and communicate regularly on the progress of the project. As a new principal, I could not be happier with the selection,” Avalos added.

Built in 1958, Central High is home to 2,071 students and will remain in operation during the renovation project. The project was funded by a bond measure that was approved in the November 2017 election to fund district facility improvements.