Carlsbad High Schools

The Project.

The Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) had a voter approved Bond Measure for upgrades and additions to their only high school. Open since 1958, the current student population and changes in teaching and curriculum resulted in significant changes to this campus. The District decided on phased construction to lessen the impacts to students. They began with the football stadium, and then moved onto 11 classroom buildings, support structures and improvements.


Carlsbad Unified School District


Carlsbad, CA


  • Environmental
  • Geotechnical

Project Fact:

This project was completed in phases to allow continued student use, and working around school bell schedules.

The Leighton Solution.

Leighton provided geotechnical and environmental services for modernization Phase I and II of the aging high school. We worked with the District and community bond oversight team providing geotechnical and environmental services. Geotechnical services were provided for design level under DSA review and oversight.

Challenges included conducting assessment and remediation activities while school was in session, mitigating parent and neighbor concerns and conducting these activities during the rainy season. Addressing concerns over student safety, neighborhood issues about hauling and dust control, and maintaining an aggressive construction schedule for the upcoming football season were a top priority for Leighton and the District.

Environmental services for both phases of the modernization, started with Phase I Environmental Assessments of the former residential parcels to be acquired by CUSD. The Phase I’s indicated a potential for termiticide impacts adjacent to the homes and pesticide contamination in former agricultural areas.

For this reason, a Preliminary Endangerment Assessment was required. Subsurface investigation activities found organochlorine pesticides (OPCs) in the soils of the expansion lots and elevated levels of arsenic in the football field.

Leighton prepared a Removal Action Workplan (RAW) detailing the required activities to remediate the Site. Within weeks of DTSC’s approval of the RAW, the District commenced the removal action.