Over the past summer, Corcoran Unified School District invested close to $5 million in improvements to aging school buildings. Planning has already begun to spend another $6 million on facilities improvements for next summer.
The district attempted to get a local bond passed, but when that effort failed, started hunting for alternate funding to address its infrastructure problems. All local school sites are aging and in need of renovation. The district finally determined to take out a loan of approximately $13 million through the COP (Certificates of Participation) program.
According to Pam Dihel, the district’s chief business officer, Corcoran Unified can apply to the state for partial reimbursement of those expenditures. She anticipates that about $8 million of the funds will be reimbursed.
Over the past summer, money was spent modernizing John Muir, Fremont and Bret Harte, while Corcoran High’s exterior got a fresh coat of paint and stucco and the district office received an exterior refurbishing. A total of 54 classrooms at three sites saw improvements. Windows and air conditioning was also addressed.
Planning has already started for next summer’s projects. Dihel said work must begin the day after school finishes, since work time will be compressed to approximately 50 days. Plans for the 2016 work
must be submitted to the state architect’s department by Jan. 1, 2016, which means detailed plans must be in place by Dec. 1, less than a month from now. After state approval, contractors must be selected to complete the work.
Next summer will complete three years of the district’s five-year improvement program. Among the projects planned are:
–Phase two modernization at Bret Harte, the district plans to spend $560,000 improving building E, the cafeteria, classrooms and some flooring;
–Fremont modernization phase 2 that includes exterior refurbishing and replacement of windows, improvements to all classrooms in the D, E, F and G wings, fencing along the frontage of the school, roofing in K wing and improving the admin building. Cost is estimated at almost $1.7 million.
–Over $2 million is planned to be spent on Mark Twain, where five portables will be replaced on concrete foundations, a fire alarm upgrade will be installed, frontage fencing will be addressed and a marquee will be placed in front of the school. The cafeteria at the site will get new heating and air conditioning, new light fixtures, ceiling replacement and ducting work and replacement of flooring and dining tables.
–Another $1.7 will go to John Muir to replace E wing (four portables with modular construction on concrete foundations).
–Approximately $188,000 is expected to be spent painting Kings Lake andreplacing the roofing and heating/air conditioning units at the district office.