Solar Panels Project Shines At Pueblo

by Paula Fierros & Celestina Marinez

Pueblo Solar Panel Project 2018 by Leo Parra

Even though the solar panels project in the parking lot was supposed to be completed before the beginning of this school year, this construction project did not begin until July 16, making the beginning of the school year a bit chaotic for many employees and students looking for parking spaces.

More than three months later, the project is nearing completion. Final work continues,and an expected date of completion is estimated to be near the end of the semester.

Mr. Mark Farcis, a foreman for the Future Vervan Energy corporation, said, “We are nearing the end of our stay here,” he said. “All that is left is to connect all of the panels to one power source.”

Completion of this project will ease parking nightmares for faculty, staff and students.

“Traffic in and out of Pueblo has been horrid,” said Assistant Principal Mr. David Montaño, “but we’ve done the best we could do under these circumstances. We hope that everybody can be a little patient because in the end, we’re going to have a beautiful new parking lot that will be environmentally impactful.”

Due to a reduced number of spaces in our usual parking lot due to the installation of the panels, many teachers have had to park in the several new areas that have been designated temporary parking locations.

In the end, the solar panels will be improving the environment as well as reducing the district’s electricity bill.

“Cutting the energy bill in half is always a good thing,” said Ms. Kathryn Gunnels, assistant principal.

The big plan is to go green will take over the district. Many schools in T.U.S.D. have already completed their own solar panels projects in those schools’ parking lots.

Gunnels said, “We live in a world with limited resources, and it makes perfect sense to use our unlimited resource in Arizona—the sun.”

Community Garden Gets A Pond Thanks To Class Of 2016

During the summer, almost 150 incoming freshmen (Class of 2016) got the chance to experience high school classes through the Freshman Academy Program at Pueblo. For eleven days students took scheduled classes in Math, Statistics, English, Science, and Study Skills learning a multiple array of subjects and the organization of the campus to help them prepare for their first year in high school. 

All the summer program classes laid the foundation for the future academics these students would encounter at Pueblo, with an emphasis on the Core Standards and STEM projects. For example, in science, the students were challenged to design and create a pond ecosystem to replace the old drained cement pond located in the area of the new campus community garden. 

Pond in Community Garden before renovation.

First, student teams used classroom laptops to research about the ecological aspects of pond wetlands.  Then they brainstormed about different pond designs. Nathan Novak, a local landscaping expert and owner of Canyon Pondscapes, worked with the student teams to draw out pond design plans that were within the renovation parameters. Each class voted on team proposed designs and a consensus was reached. For four days each class eagerly participated in bringing this design to fruition despite the June heat. Under the direct supervision of Mr. Novak and Mrs. Straub, their science teacher, the students used a jackhammer and sledgehammer to break apart two feet of concrete to deepen the pond and remove the loosened concrete. 

Students use jackhammers to loosen concrete.

The students then carted in dirt to shape the pond to their design and laid down a liner to prevent water seepage. Rocks and gravel were placed in and around the pond to hold the liner as well as create a natural look. 

The next step was the creation of the water fall.  Every class wanted to see this to be the main attraction of the pond. This meant the coordination of many dirt toting wheelbarrow teams and lots of dust.  Before they knew it, a hill of dirt was ready for rock placements to create the waterfall. 

Students hauling dirt to shape pond.

Finally water was added, the pump turned on and manure was placed along the edges of the pond for future planting of flowers. A pond and waterfall emerged from the ideas and hard work of these new Pueblo Warriors. 

The students felt a great accomplishment not only in completing a student driven project, but in learning how to work as a team to benefit the community by building a wetland pond ecosystem. 

Rocks going into place for new pond.

As a final assignment, the students wrote about their experience.  Overwhelmingly they wrote that despite the oppressive heat the experience was exciting, fun, and rewarding (the following student names are changed for privacy). Sam cherished the fact that he got to, “know how it feels to work like a grownup.” As Lisa pointed out, “a lot of sweat and hard work went into building something pretty that didn’t work and was plain before”. 

Finished Pond in Pueblo Community Garden

Many students also wrote about how they found the teamwork rewarding in accomplishing this goal, as well as, a great chance to meet their fellow classmates. A few talked about the ecological and physiological benefits of the finished product and the hopes to use this area in their future at Pueblo. As Ana wrote, “a successfully built pond provides a feeling of restfulness in an area of interest”.  So many voiced their interest in visiting the pond when they return in August, like Lucy who wrote, “getting the chance to see a pond come alive was (an) amazing experience, every day we saw it get better and better. Our pond will be so beautiful I can’t wait to see the final product.” 

The students did not get to see the addition of plant and animal life, but water plants and fish will be added this summer in order to balance the pond ecosystem. Thanks to the Freshman Academy 2012 students, this new wetland pond ecosystem can be visited and studied by Pueblo students as well as enjoyed by those using the community garden for years to come.

Thanks Elaine Straub for the story & pictures.

Parking Lot Gets A Makeover

The YES! Club and Future Teachers of Arizona collaborated this weekend to give our parking lot a little makeover. Members of both clubs came on Saturday morning to paint the curb barriers with Pueblo colors.

Painting barricades Pueblo colors

The following spirited students worked very hard on this project:

Philip Alvarez, Yahaira Barcelo, Angel Barcelo, Peter Casillas, Chantelle Contreras, Manuel Encinas, Brandon Garcia, Alejandra Gonzalez, Adilene Guevara, Oscar Hernandez, Laura Karina Lopez, Yaritza Martinez, Jazmin Nogales, Rheannon Olvera, Alvaro Oquita, Ben Rios, Gabrielle Rios, Clarissa Romero, Lauro Soto, Brisenia Sosa, Gardenia Tapia & Brianna Valencia.

The painting crew

Parking lot painting project

It’s a work in progress and we look forward to the completion of the project.  Great job Warriors! Thank you Mrs. Avila-Miranda & Mrs. Stull for pictures.

BIG THANK YOU to Mike Stanford from the City of Tucson Graffiti Abatement Office and Dunn Edwards Paint for donating all of the blue paint!

Pueblo Entry Way Project: Gateway Sign

As part of the realignment project of the entry way on 12th Avenue, Pueblo will be getting a new entry sign on the east pedestrian entryway. Here is a concept design of what it will look like:

New Pueblo Entry Way

The student body and staff is excited about the upcoming changes to the entrance of Pueblo. At the time of this posting Pueblo had raised $42,540 for a new marquee. Thank you to all who donated!

As the City Of Tucson provides more information on the realignment project, we will post the updates on our blog. Look for the changes!

Farber Stadium Sound System Upgraded

soundsystem
Original horns on the left compared to new speakers

To say Farber Field’s sound system needed an upgrade is a huge understatement. Thanks to the Class of 2009, a new sound system has just been installed by TUSD. We will now be able to enjoy music and commentary at our football games and other events with much crisper sound.

During the sound check, the new sound system exceeded the expectations of administrators present. The upgrade included:

Thanks again to the Class of 2009 and their sponsor, Yolanda Sotelo.

Pueblo Track Is Being Resurfaced


Track Being Resurfaced - Click To Enlarge
Track Being Resurfaced - Click To Enlarge

Construction on our track facilities will officially begin today as construction crews bring in heavy equipment to football stadium.

Actual demolition work on the old track will begin on Monday, June 15.   The track will be resurfaced and construction and installation of new track facilities will occur during this scope of work.  The timeline for this project is estimated at between 75 to 90 days, depending on monsoon and weather conditions.

The crew will endeavor to finish the project as fast as they can.  During this time, no one is allowed onto the construction site except Pueblo grounds men who may need to do work in the area.  In a few months we will have a beautiful, new track for our Pueblo Warriors.

Check back for updates!