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Measure G middle school projects move ahead

Mountain View's middle-schoolers soon will have upgraded classrooms, a new library and a new art building, projects that were unanimously approved by trustees of the Mountain View Whisman School District at the school board's Sept. 19 meeting.

The first wave of construction projects for Graham and Crittenden middles schools funded by the $198 million Measure G facilities improvement bond includes new and revamped classrooms and new technology infrastructure updates.

Trustees had previously approved a list of priority projects to be pursued at both Crittenden and Graham. At the most recent board meeting, trustees got a look at preliminary floor plans for new classrooms and looked at overhead views of each school to see how the new classes, auditoriums and athletic facilities would be placed on the respective campuses.

The total budget for both projects is $50 million. "Phase I," as the first leg is being called, is set to begin next summer with the installation of new and reconfigured classrooms at each school. Phase I is expected to cost between $15.5 million and $16 million, according to official estimates.

The new music rooms will feature improved sound-proofing, more private rehearsal space and increased storage space for musical instruments. Both schools' new and upgraded classrooms will be outfitted with built-in speakers and the ability for teachers to control video presentations via wireless devices.

Science teachers have asked that the new classrooms at Graham include science labs with an increased number of sinks -- one for every four students in the class. The new library will be built with acoustical baffling to keep sound out. That may or may not happen, depending on how many cost saving measures are taken.

Next up, the project's architects -- DLM Architects (Crittenden) and Artik Art & Architecture (Graham) -- must finalize their construction drawings and submit them to the Department of State Architecture for approval. Once the DSA signs off on the projects, the district can begin taking bids from construction firms. If all goes according to plan, the winning construction firm -- or firms -- will break ground in June 2014.

In addition to the Phase I projects, the district still plans to erect new auditoriums at each school and install a new track and field at Crittenden.

Correction

The print version of this story states that Phase I of the middle school projects includes the installation of new athletic facilities. That is inaccurate. The new athletic facilities will come during a later phase of construction.

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