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Ripon Unified seeking facilities plan volunteers
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Ripon Unified is searching for folks to serve on a steering committee for the proposed Facilities Master Plan.

Needed is a cross-section of 30 to 40 community members.

The purpose of this group would be to identify short-term as well as long-term facilities goals of the district. Those chosen will work alongside a still-to-be-determined consultant on five public workshops in the fall, explaining the purpose of the plan consisting of various grade configuration options coupled with the adoption process.

Steering committee applications are available at the RUSD office at 304 N. Acacia Ave. or Deadline is Aug. 15.

“It is anticipated that the consultant will explore the multiple planning options for all facility locations, working with the district to evaluate, define, and estimate the financial and other impacts for each option considered,” according to the Master Plan objective formulated by Ernie Tyhurst and Kit Oase.

The two school board members were credited with doing most of the leg work on the Facilities Master Plan process that was approved back in June.

Options could include new vs. renovated facilities along with a comprehensive plan to address the RUSD facility and educational needs, said Tyhurst at last Monday’s special school board session.

He added that the general plans of the City of Ripon, the City of Manteca and the County of San Joaquin should be considered when each site is analyzed using the Collaborative for High Performance Schools’ criteria to determine existing sustainability features; levels and options for future energy; and water efficiency and high-performance classroom modifications.

The task of the consultant and steering committee would be to complete the Facility Master Plan in three phases:

• Phase 1, which is the gathering of data, by Oct. 15.

• Phase 2 or the submittal of the draft plan is set for April 14, 2014.

• Phase 3 is the actual adopting of the plan is targeted for Sept. 8, 2014.

But in order to get there, the board-appointed group will first conduct a series of workshops at four select elementary school site and Ripon High between October and November.

In December, the steering committee is scheduled to conduct a community survey using a variety of sources – included are school newsletters, the local newspapers, and district website – to solicit public comments, questions and suggestions.

The consultant, in January, will put together the results of workshops and surveys, presenting the findings to the steering committee for the draft plan.

That draft plan with the two grade configuration options – K-6, for example, with a 7th and 8th grade middle school and ninth- through 12th-grade high school – will go before the board in a February workshop, and published for review and comments on the district website.

Trustees, from there, are scheduled to a public hearing with the purpose of reviewing the plan. They could select a grade-configuration option.

For more information on the Facilities Master Plan and other related matters, call RUSD at 209-599-2131.