Panel con­sid­ers up­grades to Joel Bar­low

The News-Times (Sunday) - - News - By Ka­t­rina Ko­ert­ing

REDDING — The Re­gion 9 fa­cil­i­ties com­mit­tee is work­ing on the scope of the im­prove­ments at Joel Bar­low High School af­ter the school board ap­proved the over­all items to be fixed.

Re­pair­ing the ten­nis courts, the track, Bar­low Drive and the walk­ways around the school are all in­cluded in the pro­ject.

Many of these have vary­ing lev­els of work and prices and school of­fi­cials will have to de­cide which op­tion is the way to go for each pro­ject.

“A school cam­pus will al­ways need main­te­nance and im­prove­ments,” Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools Thomas McMor­ran said. “The Re­gion 9Board of Ed­u­ca­tion de­vel­oped a long-range cap­i­tal im­prove­ment plan many years ago and the mem­bers have used it to guide the se­quence and costs of keep­ing our build­ings clean, healthy and safe while also be­ing very mind­ful of the on­go­ing cost to the tax­pay­ers.”

The board ap­proved the en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices pro­posal from Gale As­so­ciates at its last meet­ing. Board mem­bers and school of­fi­cials are now work­ing with the firm on the de­tails of the work, which will de­ter­mine bet­ter cost es­ti­mates.

It is ex­pected to go out to bid for the work in Fe­bru­ary. The work is ex­pected to be in­cluded on the May ref­er­en­dum so the board can bond for it. Be­cause it is a re­gional school board, the Re­gion 9 Board of Ed­u­ca­tion also acts as a fi­nance board.

As of now, a very pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mate for the work is about $2.5 mil­lion.

“Due to their long-range ap­proach to man­age­ment of the high school build­ings and grounds, the board has kept up the value of the prop­erty while also spend­ing funds in a pru­dent man­ner,” McMor­ran said.

Board mem­bers se­lected these items from a list of seven suggested by the firm, con­sid­er­ing when the work needed to be done with how often the items were used. The park­ing lots and front drop-off area were not in­cluded, although side­walks in­cluded as parts of the projects were.

Mem­bers said they were hes­i­tant to spend money on de­signs for things they didn’t think would be built as part of the bor­row­ing plan.

The firm and ad­min­is­tra­tion dif­fered on the pri­or­ity rank­ings, with the board tend­ing to side with the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s per­spec­tive, which was based on use.

Based on en­gi­neer­ing, the firm listed Bar­low Drive as the big­gest pri­or­ity, fol­lowed by a tie be­tween the ten­nis courts and track sur­face, then the ju­nior park­ing lot, the rear park­ing area and the front drop off area. One of the walk­ways was not in­cluded.

High school of­fi­cials in­stead had the ten­nis courts as the big­gest pri­or­ity, fol­lowed by Bar­low Drive, the track, the walk­way, the front drop-off area, the rear park­ing lot and fi­nally the ju­nior lot.

Head of School Gina Pin said at the Nov. 20 school board meet­ing that she doesn’t ex­pect the ju­nior lot will be needed in a few years.

Both lists agreed on the top three items though, if not the or­der.

“It is time to repave the ac­cess road, fix our ten­nis court sur­faces to keep them safe, and re­place the track in the ath­letic sta­dium,” McMor­ran said. “The cur­rent track was laid down in 1983 and resur­faced about eight years ago.”

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