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Issue date: September 15, 2000

Electrician Ben King wires one of the 10 portables that will be used for classrooms during renovations at Graham Middle School.

@vcredit:Dick Waters

Reconstruction on schedule in Mountain View schools Reconstruction on schedule in Mountain View schools (September 15, 2000)

By Jaime Bloss

School construction projects in the Mountain View School District, including restroom renovation and classroom modernization, are steadily progressing, school officials reported at the first board meeting of the 2000-2001 school year.

All the school district's sites will be modernizing over the next five years, with interior renovations to all restrooms and classrooms, said Susan Spaay, chief fiscal officer for the school district.

According to Spaay, the first two schools slated for upgrades are Graham Middle School and Castro School.

The district is currently in the bidding process to renovate Castro, which was built in 1948 and is the oldest school in the district, Spaay said.

The estimated cost of upgrading Castro is $5.9 million, according to the Facilities Needs Assessment Report revised by the district in 1997.

Modernization includes mainly interior work, including new light fixtures, flooring, wiring, plumbing, and air conditioning for all classrooms, she said.

"We have some very interested contractors," Spaay said. The board will take action on the bids at its Oct. 2 meeting. Construction will start two weeks after a bid is awarded.

Because the project involves gutting the classrooms, schools will use portable classrooms during the construction.

There will be nine additional portable classrooms at Castro School this year, four of which will be permanently located at the site. These portable classrooms were added to accommodate class size reduction, the enrollment growth, and to replace leased trailers, according to the assessment report.

In addition, one portable will replace the building that houses the on-site day-care facility run by the YMCA, Spaay said.

Castro's portable classrooms have been completed, but Graham's still need cabinets installed. The district is hoping to have the cabinet work completed by late September. The portable classrooms will not be used until the cabinet work is finished, Spaay said.

Work will begin in January on Graham Middle School, which was built in 1959, Spaay said. The district decided to delay the process so the schools would not be impacted at the same time. Graham's modernization is estimated to cost approximately $9.3 million, according to the district's assessment report.

An additional 10 portable classrooms will be located at Graham Middle School; half will become permanent. The remaining five will be transported from site to site as construction projects are finished at one school and begin at another, Spaay said.

Larger libraries will be built at both Castro and Graham schools, Spaay said, and Graham will also see renovations to the music department.

Renovations of restrooms throughout the district have already begun, Spaay said. Disabled access will be provided, and new toilet partitions, walls, floors, ceilings, and automatic flush fixtures are being added to restrooms at Bubb, Castro, Landels, Slater, and Graham schools, said Spaay.

Approximately 90 percent of the underground construction is complete, and concrete flooring will be poured next week, Spaay said. The renovation should be largely completed by the end of October, Spaay said.

While the restroom reconstruction is occurring, portable toilets are being provided for students, as well as one set of boys' and girls' restrooms at each school that will not be renovated until the others are complete, Spaay said.

Over the course of the modernization project, schools will be renovated in pairs, Spaay said. Landels School is starting on the design phase of modernization, she said, followed by renovations on Slater and Bubb schools and, lastly, Huff and Cooper schools.

Spaay emphasized that the draft schedule is tentative, because emergency repairs may arise at a school during the five-year period.

The estimated costs of the remaining elementary school renovations include Slater at $4.95 million; Bubb at $4 million; Huff at $5.9 million; and Cooper at $819,000, according to the district's assessment report.

Measure D, a $36 million bond measure passed by voters in 1998, will fund the renovation project.

The measure allows the school district to "look at the facilities and get them modernized for the next 20 to 30 years," Spaay said.


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