The school administration appointed campus operations and construction manager Jim De Matté to oversee construction of the school’s River Park campus full time on Monday. The senior school factory manager, Dave Mintz ’87, will succeed De Matté in his previous post after their official transition on January 1.
As the Campus Operations Manager, De Matté oversees numerous affairs on both campuses, including theater maintenance, security, office, catering and technical staff. In his new role, De Matté will lead the construction of the River Park campus, as he did during the college’s renovation in the late 2000s.
In an email to faculty and senior school staff on Monday, school president and principal Rick Commons announced the job changes.
Commons said promoting De Matté was part of River Park’s plan to ensure every campus receives enough attention and care.
“This transition is part of the long-term strategy to ensure that we have the time and expertise to build at River Park and operations on middle and high school campuses,” said Commons. “Three campuses, one of them entirely under construction, is too much ground to cover for one person, so it makes sense to divide the responsibilities between Mr. De Matté and Mr. Mintz. “
In his current role as the Graduate School Plant Manager, Mintz oversees the Graduate School’s maintenance department as well as all operations on the graduate school campus, including events, performances, activities. specials for students and sporting events. As Campus Operations Manager, Mintz will take on De Matté’s previous responsibilities and work with administration to find a new plant manager for the high school.
Performing arts technical director and performing arts teacher Aaron Martin, who works with Mintz, said he believes Mintz would be able to lead campus operations well due to his dedication and his past experience.
“I’m so happy for Dave and this big promotion,” Martin said. “There are a few people who have really given their heart and soul to Harvard-Westlake and Dave is truly one of them. Without Dave Mintz, Harvard-Westlake College could not be the glowing source of pride it is today.
Despite community opposition, the school is working to gain approval from Los Angeles City Council to begin construction of the Weddington golf and tennis site. After approval, the school would be allowed to go ahead with construction, led by De Matté.
Tanya Anand ’24, a player for the school’s women’s tennis team, reacted positively to the start of construction of the school on River Park by promoting De Matté.
“The new advancement in the construction of River Park is such good news! Said Anand. “As a tennis player I spend a lot of time on the Weddington courts and they need to be redone / repainted. River Park will benefit tennis teams by improving the courts, as well as helping to improve our practices and who knows, it could even lead to more wins and titles! Knowing that River Park will begin construction in the near future is great information for the future of the Harvard-Westlake teams and the Studio City community. “
Like her tennis teammate Anand, Clementine Harris ’24 believes that the school moving forward in its construction phase is exciting, but is concerned about some aspects of the plans.
“As a tennis player, I’m really excited that we’re getting this setup,” Harris said. “However, they are reducing the number of courts in Weddington, which will lengthen our practices and games, and the general public will have time on the field. This development, I’m sure, will have phenomenal results, but I’m currently unsure of what is being added and taken out.