Plan entails new construction and renovations
A new Facilities Master Plan (FMP) was approved on an April 12 board meeting by the school board. The plan outlines $193 million in construction, modernization, and renovation in the 11 schools in PRJUSD, the War Memorial stadium, and a new community aquatics complex. In addition, the FMP details 135 million dollars in bonds to help finance the renovations.
The plan was created after 44 meetings and presentations before submission to the board. However, none of the elements of the plan are final, and no actual projects will begin until after surveying the community to see which renovations are supported by the public.
“There is no commitment to any funding resources,” PRJUSD District Superintendent Chris Williams said about the current state of the FMP.
The plan includes a total of 80 new classrooms at elementary and middle schools, including new two-story structures at Georgia Brown Elementary school and Daniel Lewis Middle School. In addition, the planned aquatics facility includes a 50-meter pool, a 25 meter lap pool, and a solar-powered water heating system, and would be located north of the eastern leg of the parking lot at PRHS. It also entails an improved parking and drop-off area, band room expansion, wrestling rooms, greenhouse relocation, and modernization of the cafeteria, student service, locker room, restroom, classroom and administration offices for Paso Robles High School.
However, as of now, no construction is currently scheduled. The FMP is only a “wish list” for what PRJUSD would like to build, but what will actually be built and when it will be built will be determined by an “effort by administration to get the plan out to the community,” PRJUSD chief business officer Scott Lathrop said. The construction is intended to begin 18 months to two years after the final board approval in November of this year, according to Lathrop.
Some board members were not entirely behind the proposal. Board president Field Gibson said that he “could not visualize” the construction of a two story structure at an elementary school and also voiced concerns about funding resources. However, Gibson voted for the plan. “I have concerns, but this is not set in stone,” Gibson said. In contrast to Gibson, board member Chris Bausch voted against the proposal, due to concerns about funding.
Another construction project, although unrelated to the FMP, will give PRHS a new track and will add synthetic grass to War Memorial stadium. This project, which has already been financed, will commence in June or July of this year, and will hopefully be completed before the next school year, according to Lathrop.