Lots of Del Norte schoolwork coming up

By Jessica Cejnar, The Triplicate February 19, 2014 03:12 pm

The School Board has authorized an architect to begin developing plans for projects at four schools.

Board members discussed Yreka architect Guy Fryer’s plans for replacing the roof and making other exterior improvements to Crescent Elk Middle School.

Fryer, of Siskiyou Design Group Inc., said he hopes to submit plans for the Crescent Elk projects to California’s Department of the State Architect by next week. He estimated the cost at more than $1 million.

The district hopes to begin construction on the Crescent Elk projects this summer.

“The school was built in the ’30s, before the DSA existed,” Fryer said, adding that his plans call for replacing a number of seismic bolts, which were installed in the ’50s, that have been marred by rust.

The other projects Fryer will begin developing plans for include replacing the roofs and making exterior renovations to Redwood and Pine Grove schools. Board members also asked Fryer to begin developing plans for a $4.4 million modernization project at Del Norte High School.

Construction on the high school project likely won’t happen until the summer of 2015. District Superintendent Don Olson asked Fryer to submit the plans for replacing the roofs at Redwood and Pine Grove so construction could happen this summer, but added that those projects may not happen until 2015.

Another proposed project for Redwood School involves redesigning the parking lot to reduce congestion. Olson said the school is sold on continuing to have its buses load and unload near the cafeteria. He said school staff also liked an idea posited by Board member Judie Cordts, who proposed two-way traffic around an island that would allow parents to pick students up on both sides.

“It would double the number of cars moving through that lot,” she said.

Fryer spent about eight months visiting Del Norte County schools, interviewing principals and teachers and meeting with the public to develop a master plan submitted to the Board last month. The document includes a prioritized list of projects for each school as well as the district office, cost estimates and information about which sites are eligible for state modernization funding through the Office of Public School Construction.

In a Thursday presentation to the School Board, Fryer included a breakdown of the amount of modernization funding each school is eligible, for as well as how much the district would have to contribute. He also included a proposed allocation of about $10.8 million in voter-approved general obligation bond funds.

The district recently sold roughly $10 million in bonds.

“At schools with higher (modernization funding) eligibility I’ve proportioned a lower amount from the GO bond to balance out needs,” Fryer said. “Some schools like the high school have no eligibility.”

Even though Fryer’s report to the Board include a proposed allocation of GO bond funds, Olson reminded the Board that it already used part of that money to upgrade the district’s wireless infrastructure and purchase new playground equipment.

The district hired Fryer to develop its master plan after receiving a $125,000 grant from the California Endowment. Del Norte was among three school districts selected for the funding, according to Olson.

A facilities master plan is necessary to obtain modernization funds, he said.

Reach Jessica Cejnar at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it