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Colony Oak campus work draws near
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Ripon Unified School District aims to begin construction on Colony Oak Elementary School in late 2016. Permanent classrooms and improved technology to support the science lab and library are among the improvements expected to be made. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin

Bill Draa will be soon leaving the Ripon Unified School District.

He came in as the interim superintendent and had a strong background in school construction and modernization projects during his time at the Banta School District.

It wasn’t long before Draa, who was the retired superintendent at Banta, agreed to a two-year contract at RUSD to help oversee the work at Weston Elementary School. Louise Johnson had stepped down for family reasons from the top administrative post during planning stages of the voter-approved $25.2 million Measure G.

Weston is all but complete and Colony Oak Elementary School, which makes up the other half of the bond measure, is now in the planning stages.

Draa is again retiring at the end of August. But Siegrid “Ziggy” Robeson is now the RUSD superintendent.

She’s the former principal at Colony Oak.

The district, meanwhile, received input on this estimated $10.5 million project – included here is construction costs, soft costs, allowances and contingencies – for renovation to her former school.

RUSD is looking to have the specific design work in place by this month, with hopes of beginning construction at Colony Oak by late 2016.

Work on this estimated 22,000 square feet of new construction would include permanent classrooms. Included would also be the technology infrastructure to support the science lab along with the new science lab and library.

New restroom facilities are being recommended to accommodate students.

About 4,000 square feet of the parking lot expansion at the south lot is part of the redesign to improve traffic circulation.

 In addition, Colony Oak is looking to get an audio video / public address systems in the multi-use area, and new flooring, windows, electrical and roofing.

Shade structures are being recommended to expand the area for outdoor eating and school assemblies.

For more information on Colony Oak, call the district office at 209.599.2131 or log on to