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New gym likely for Weston School
Decision wont impact Colony Oak improvements
Part of the dry rot problems at the current Weston School campus. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

Ripon Unified officials have a clearer idea about the proposed final reconstruction plan for Weston Elementary School.

At Thursday’s workshop, the school board received some of the necessary information from the Program Management Integration team as to how to go about making possible the voter-approved Measure G project to include a much-need multi-purpose building or gymnasium.

The plan calls for Weston to do the work in two phases. The construction part, or Phase I, would consist of two classrooms per grade level, kindergarten through eighth grades, as built according to state standards.

Kindergarten classes would have shared space as to meet the Title V requirements and the existing multi-use building would be reconfigured to house administrative spaces, library, computer lab/ study center, and Title 1 and special resource spaces.

The parking lot would be reconfigured for parent drop-off and a new bus loading area – relocated back-of-the-current multi-use room would also be used for fire access – while some of the relocatable units would stay in place.

More importantly, Weston would get that new 6,600-square-foot multi-use building equipped with the food service area. The gym part would be about 4,200 square feet for basketball and other indoor sports and activities.

Trustees will meet Monday at the Ripon City Hall Council Chambers to possibly approve the $10.4 million reconstruction proposal equipped with $300,000 in contingency to help cover inflation and possible other cost under the lease / lease back construction plan.

“You will not be voting on the plan but rather the parameter for construction of the basics by the design team,” said Khushroo Gheyara, who is the PMI chief executive officer.

Board member Kit Oase added that plan should include looking into other state applications to help in the funding prior to the process going before the Division of State Architect for final approval.

Trustee Ernie Tyhurst wanted to make it clear that this project not impact future plans for Colony Oak School – that campus is also part of Measure G reconstruction plan. It is also self-funded as to not rely on any loans.

As for Phase II, the part of the Weston plan would take place after Phase I construction is completed. Funding could come from any used project money, contingencies and / or state aid.

Phase II would include new furniture for students and teachers coupled with new equipment for the proposed multi-use building and kitchen.

Enhancements to the landscaping and the installation of a fenced bike area would also be part of Phase II.