Ground breaks for Colony Oak School up­grades

Ripon Bulletin - - Front Page - By GLENN KAHL

Ground has of­fi­cially bro­ken on the Ripon Uni­fied multi-mil­lion dol­lar ef­fort to mod­ern­ize Colony Oak El­e­men­tary School on Mur­phy Road.

Teach­ers, ad­min­is­tra­tors and com­mu­nity lead­ers took part in the event that her­alds the con­struc­tion of new school build­ings in an or­chard at the rear of the ex­ist­ing cam­pus.

The project is de­scribed as a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion of the ex­ist­ing school first built in 1990 us­ing por­ta­ble struc­tures. Bob Pre­witt was its first prin­ci­pal hav­ing come from Ripona School. Mary Lou Kahl was prin­ci­pal next for some 13 years be­fore her re­tire­ment.

The trans­for­ma­tion will in­clude per­ma­nent build­ings ar­ranged in a more clus­tered for­ma­tion. In ad­di­tion to larger class­rooms and lab spa­ces, Colony Oak will be equipped with mod­ern elec­tri­cal and data sys­tems along with tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture.

The cam­pus will be get-

ting new, mod­ern­ized re­stroom fa­cil­i­ties, a park­ing lot ex­pan­sion, new well wa­ter and sep­tic sys­tems as well as a ded­i­cated traf­fic loop at the back of the cam­pus to improve traf­fic cir­cu­la­tion and safety.

“This project fur­thers our district vi­sion of pro­vid­ing safe, pos­i­tive and stim­u­lat­ing en­vi­ron­ments where stu­dents are our first pri­or­ity,” noted board Pres­i­dent Chad Huskey.

Assem­bly­man Heath Flora was “de­lighted” to be in at­ten­dance at the ground-break­ing cer­e­mony. He pre­sented Huskey with a cer­tifi­cate of Recog­ni­tion from the Cal­i­for­nia State Assem­bly.

The project is largely funded by the Mea­sure G Bond, ap­proved five years ago for $25 mil­lion to mod­ern­ize two Ripon el­e­men­tary cam­puses, Colony Oak and We­ston El­e­men­tary.

Ripon Su­per­in­ten­dent Ziggy Robe­son said the in­tent was to cre­ate per­ma­nent new class­rooms to re­place tem­po­rary por­ta­ble fa­cil­i­ties and improve aca­demic re­sources in­clud­ing mod­ern science labs and li­brary/com­puter labs.

Mea­sure G also promised to pro­vide a lo­cal match to the district mak­ing it el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive monies in State grants to pay off the debt over time.

The de­vel­op­ment and con­struc­tion for this project is in part­ner­ship with CT Bray­ton & Sons, Inc. Con­struc­tion, WLC Ar­chi­tects and Caldwell Flores Win­ters, Inc. Fi­nan­cial Con­sul­tants.

Colony Oak Stu­dent Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Emma Phelps had this to share, “We will be look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture use of the science labs and the use of the new tech­nol­ogy. I am glad to be part of this thrilling new ad­ven­ture at Colony oak.

Photo con­trib­uted

Help­ing break ground for Colony Oak School up­grades are, from left, Max Me­d­ina, Ziggy Robe­son, Deanna Shirlock, Chad Huskey, Cheryl Grif­fiths, Christina Or­lando, Assem­bly­man Heath Flora, Caro­line Hutto, Tim Hern, Khush Ghe­yara and Kit Oase.

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