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Weston School plan calls for adding new gym

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POSTED March 28, 2013 2:03 a.m.

Plans for Weston School calls for the reconfiguring the existing multi-purpose building while adding a new gym closer towards the front of the campus.

Architect Tim Huff of Timothy P. Huff & Associates Inc. discussed those plans and more at Wednesday’s Ripon Unified workshop for the voter-approved Measure G project.

School board members, Weston school and district officials along with members of the design team were in attendance at the session held in the Ripon High library that also included Program Management Integration, LLC.

As part of the $25.2 million bond measure, the Weston campus will be overhauled with permanent structures replacing the aging portable units. The preliminary design work has already commenced, with four site meetings held thus far for the planning phase.

Teachers favored the new gym and shared space between the classrooms for material storage. “The (shared space) also makes for a good safety feature,” board President Donna Parks.

Huff, meanwhile, unveiled the alternative plan. Included were the following:

• All classrooms constructed at 1,000 square foot.

• A new multi-purpose building with 4,200-square-foot of floor space for indoor sporting events and assemblies, kitchen, music / physical education space, lobby and restrooms.

• The existing multi-purpose room to be “repurposed,” according to Huff, to accommodate a library, computer lab, speech class, Title 1 classes, and Learning Center / Resource Specialist Program.

• A bus loop is proposed just off of Ruess Road as way to separate the parent drop-off area at the front of the campus on Stanley Road.

•  A kindergarten play area will be installed.

• The existing parking lot will be repaired, recoated, and restriped.

• Four of the existing portable units will be retained to house the afterschool Stone Soup program and site storage.

Principal Lisa Fereria favored the plan, calling it “more centralized.”

Ron Inderbitzin of the design team – he also coaches the junior high team – said the gym should be big enough to handle a regulation sized basketball court. “This one is slightly bigger than Colony Oak’s multi-purpose building,” he said.

Superintendent Louise Johnson indicated that developer fees for the next two years could go towards the gym to handle growth. Assemblies at the current multi-purpose room, due to limited seating in the Weston facility, are often jam-packed and must be conducted in two sessions. Huff noted that the proposed gym could accommodate 600 on the floor and another 100 in the platform or staging area.

Huff added that this plan also has other advantages.

“It allows us to address security control,” he told the board. “It’s also everything you asked for (in the design) and more.

“It’s right at the budgeted amount.”

The gym was not part of the Option 1 plan and the existing multi-purpose building was flanked by the kindergarten through third-grade classroom wing with the library, Title 1, and LC / RSP.

Plans for the fourth- through eighth- grade classroom wing on opposite end will remain the same on both options.

About $10 million was set aside for Weston along with $600,000 in a reserve fund.

Trustee Kit Oase said construction could begin at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

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