Larry Stewart was a school board member at Ripon Unified for 17 years.
As president of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, he enjoyed the best of his two worlds Tuesday at the dedication ceremony of Weston Elementary School.
“This is a wonderful asset to this community,” said Stewart, peering out at the estimated 225 folks inside the newly constructed Multi-Purpose Room.
The facility will double as a cafeteria and gymnasium. The old Multi-Purpose Room was converted into office spaces and student-support services.
The old portables were replaced with newly constructed classroom wings.
“These are permanent facilities to serve the educational needs of our students,” said Ripon Unified board President Ernie Tyhurst.
All that had been made possible in 2012 by voter-approved Measure G.
“Former Superintendent Louise Johnson led us in that campaign. Bill Draa, our outgoing superintendent, then took the ball and helped complete the campus,” Tyhurst said.
Principal Lisa Fereria along with her teachers, students and staff spent the past school year at various school sites throughout the district during the construction phases. Many were back to begin the new school year at their remodeled yet familiar site.
“Project like this takes a team effort,” Draa said.
Among those he credited were those at Timothy Huff & Associates (architect), the Division of State Architect, CT Brayton & Sons (contractor and construction management) and Program Management Integration.
For Stewart, he especially welcomed the re-opening because his grandchildren attend Weston.
“This is all about them,” he said.