The original Mount Vernon High School Building (Old Main Building) was constructed in 1921/22 and is a beautiful example of early 20th century, multi-story, masonry school construction. The building is not on the state historic register, but the historical character of the building and the legacy of what it represents is very important to the surrounding community. The building sits at the “front door” of the campus and is the cornerstone of a multi-building campus that serves more than 1,900 student in grades 9-12. The Old Main building will be vacated during construction, but the surrounding campus, will remain occupied and fully functional during the renovation work.
The existing Old Main Building comprises 54,303 s.f. of total floor area including a daylight basement at ground level, two upper floors and a "crow’s nest" at the roof. Currently, the building houses 22 classrooms, a 100 seat auditorium, high school administration/counselling and miscellaneous support spaces. The building has had a number of renovations during its 95 years. The latest remodels occurred in 1989 & 1992 and included some earthquake upgrades and a tenant improvement of offices (support for administration and instruction) but to the demise of the auditorium, which had to shrink and give up space to accommodate the improvements; subsequently, the auditorium is too small and difficult to utilize.
The building has many challenges from an accessibility standpoint. The building is multi-story and accessed primarily by stairs, there is only one, small, old, elevator. The restrooms are not easily accessible to persons with limited mobility. From an infrastructure standpoint, many of the buildings current systems (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, security and technology) are outdated, inefficient and far beyond their useful life cycle. The modernization project will address upgrading/replacement of these building systems as well as improvements to the buildings accessibility, seismic/structural systems, fire sprinklers, and fire alarm. The desire is to preserve and protect the historical character of this valuable asset, create a building that will be energy efficient, less costly to operate and provide a safe, inclusive and flexible educational environment that will support programmatic requirements well into the 21st century.