Classrooms with walls so weak they can't hold up a whiteboard. Clay pipes that direly need to be replaced. These are just some of the reasons the Ravenswood City School District plans to begin spending funds from its $110 million bond measure, which voters approved last month, at Belle Haven Elementary School in Menlo Park.
The board of trustees gave the go-ahead for staff to begin design work for projects under Measure I this summer during its June 23 meeting. The project at Belle Haven is estimated to cost about $50 million, according to a staff report. Construction likely won't begin for another 16 months though, as the design process and state approvals takes about 13 months, staff said.
"We've all walked the campuses to understand where the greatest needs lie," trustee Ana Maria Pulido said at the meeting. "We should start with Belle Haven. It's a great school with great students, families and staff, but our facilities also need to mirror that greatness."
The district is currently replacing two "almost uninhabitable" transitional kindergarten classrooms at Belle Haven, Chief Business Officer Will Eger said.
Key needs that would be covered by the bond funding include:
1. Modernizing existing classrooms.
2. Creating a new, expanded multipurpose and kitchen building with a shaded outdoor eating area.
3. Partial demolition of existing classroom wing.
4. Demolishing existing portable classrooms.
5. A new two-story classroom building.
6. A new school courtyard and quad.
7. A new reconfigured field and play area.
Projects at Costaño Elementary School will cost about $30 million and Los Robles-Ronald McNair Academy will be about $25 million, according to staff.
The district plans to modernize classrooms and new administrative buildings at the other elementary schools.
The district began construction earlier this year on a $50 million project to bring its middle school facilities at Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School up to modern standards, with air conditioning and flexible working spaces for students. This project, paid for with past bond money, is set to be completed at the end of 2023.
The newest bond measure would also help fund additional upgrades at the middle school, including a new gym and multipurpose room, according to the staff report.
The San Mateo County Elections Office plans to certify the Measure I results this Thursday.