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Push to secure new gym for Weston School

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POSTED August 8, 2013 1:52 a.m.

A new gymnasium could be in the cards for the modernization of Weston Elementary School.

How to go about accomplishing that, based on the project budget, will be discussed at today’s Ripon Unified school board meeting.

The special session workshop – a continuation from last week’s workshop held in the Weston multi-purpose room – is scheduled at 4 p.m. in the district office, 304 N. Acacia Ave.

Representatives of the Project Management Integration team – included are architect Tim Huff & Associates and contractor C.T. Brayton & Sons – are scheduled to be at this second workshop regarding the matter.

Trustees could look at a possible combination of developer fees and delaying certain yet-to-be-determined items on the project list in order to fit in the new gym. They’re scheduled to take action on the matter at Monday’s scheduled meeting at the Ripon City Hall Council Chamber.

Weston folks, meanwhile, were adamant about the need for a new multi-purpose room given that the current one, at 3,000 square feet of floor space, can barely accommodate both basketball players and spectators. A squeezed in three-quarter hoop court is in close proximity to the limited seating space, with game officials having to alter the rules of the game for safety reasons, according to Principal Lisa Fereria.

She also noted that Weston, with a projected enrollment of 479, has outgrown the current capacity of the multi-purpose facility of 471. As a result, the school has trouble scheduling assemblies and special events.

 By contrast, Park View Elementary School has a spacious multi-purpose room with 6,000 square feet of play area.

The proposed Weston multi-purpose facility would have 6,600 square feet with room for kitchen space and the main floor space at 4,200 square feet, based on Huff’s design plans.

Three design options were made available for Weston, which, thanks to the voter-approved Measure G, will be the first of two schools of have the outdated portable structures replaced with permanent classrooms and support facilities.

Measure G is a $25.2 million bond measure that also calls for the modernization of Colony Oak School further down the road.

Modernization of Weston is budgeted at $10.1 million with another $300,000 in contingency necessary to cover unexpected cost coupled with inflation.

Of the three design plans, Option 1 consists standard-sized classrooms for grades K-6 and larger ones (1,200 square feet) for grades 7-8 and interior upgrades to the existing multi-use building came slightly under budget at $9.8 million. Excluded was the gym, which would be part of some future plans.

As a stand-alone project, the new multi-purpose facility was projected at $1.8 million, according to Huff.

In Option 3, Weston would have standard-sized classrooms for all grades; two kindergarten classrooms equipped with a shared space; reconfiguring the current multi-purpose room to accommodate a library, computer lab and administration offices; and the new gym. Cost was estimated at $10.7 million or about $366,000 over the main budget and contingency.

Option 2 has a price tag at about $11.2 million, with the district needing to come up with another $842,000. This alternative plans features shared space for the K-6 classrooms, larger rooms for the 7-8 classrooms, and reconfigured existing multi-purpose building coupled with the new gym / kitchen area.

The goal is for work at Weston to be completed in time for the 2015-16 school year.

More information can be obtained by calling the district office at 209-599-2131 or logging on to www.riponusd.net.

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