Reconstruction work finally began at Colony Oak Elementary School.
Ground-breaking for this voter-approved Measure G project took place in September.
That’s after the Ripon Unified school board had to address rising cost and other difficulties for the school that, once completed, will be 29,000 square feet of permanent classrooms equipped with modern electrical and data systems.
Colony Oak at 22241 S. Murphy Road will eventually become a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) campus.
This was one of several stories that the Bulletin followed closely during 2017, with more to come in the year ahead.
Other interesting developments in Ripon for the past year included:
Ripon Unified welcomes
several new principals
Eva Matthews was hired as principal at Park View Elementary School prior to the current school year. She took over from the retired Mona Ogden.
Ditto that for Gregg Elliott, who previously worked in Livermore and Modesto City schools. He’s the principal at Ripona.
Michael Larson, who spent 15 years as principal at Ripon Elementary, decided to retire in December. Dana Phelps, who worked many years at Colony Oak prior to coming to Ripon Elementary as a kindergarten teacher, is the new principal at the school.
In addition, Suzette Mendonca took over as principal at Harvest High, with Sergei Samborski previously principal at the district’s continuation site.
North Pointe Specific Plans take forward step
The Ripon Planning Commission paved the way for the development of some 181 homes to take place in the coming years for the North Pointe Specific Plan, a 310-acre area of northern Ripon bounded by the Mistlin Sports Park to the north, Fulton Avenue to the east, Highway 99 and the frontage road to the south, and Jack Tone Road to the west.
Several property owners were in attendance at the Oct. 16 meeting, in particular, for the Meadowbrook Development Agreement with the City of Ripon.
The first agreement was for the project at 1040 Goodwin Drive. Commissioners approved the pact consisting of subdividing 16.53-acre parcels into 93 medium density residential lots for the development of a single-family subdivision.
The City agreed back then to issue 93 building permits in three cycles beginning in January – the first cycle for the project will take place by then, starting with 12 permits with the caveat that the list for improvements have already been completed, according to Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart.
He noted that cycle two will include 25 permits, which won’t commence until Jan. 1, 2019 – at least 50 percent of the permits issued in cycle one must be “finalized” with five of those being affordable units during the final inspection.
Cycle three will consist of 56 permits and will not commence until somewhere around Jan. 1, 2020. By then, at least 50 percent of the permits issued in cycle two will have received final inspection along with the final four affordable units.
Demolition on the Stouffer Field bleachers is set for Jan. 3.
The Ripon Unified school board recently hired Menghetti Construction for construction of the bleachers and press box at the Ripon High stadium.
Elected leaders also approved the Division of State Architect Inspection Services for the bleachers and press box project.
They also gave the go-ahead for an RFP (request for proposal) for an architect – not to exceed $60,000 – to pursue plans for the RHS stadium restrooms in the coming year.
The Ripon Community Athletic Foundation started the grass-root efforts to renovate this once aging stadium back in 2007.
The bleachers, press box and restrooms are among the last few items on the list.
Ripon looks to
attract new businesses
The City of Ripon and Chamber of Commerce just announce plans of the Economic Development Program Committee.
The group will be made up of one City Council member – Daniel de Graaf got the nod for the spot at the Dec. 12 meeting – one City staff member, and various business owners and community leaders.
City Administrator Kevin Werner was recently given authority by elected leaders to appoint the staff member.
The group will look to bring in new businesses while supporting the existing ones, according to Chamber of Commerce CEO Tamra Spade.
She added at the December Council session that the goal of the Chamber would be to provide additional support to City staff while “working together on common goals.”