Plans for Measure S Phase 2 improvements to Orange Unified’s four high schools was approved by the district board of trustees at its monthly meeting, July 25.
With the passage of the $280 million Measure S bond in 2016, each high school was allotted $70 million for, first, construction of a new science center, and, second, for modernization projects unique to each campus. Phase 2 improvements are paid for from the money remaining in each school’s allocation that is not spent on the science centers.
The preliminary presentation of Phase 2 plans, May 9, was met with criticism from constituents who insisted the new or modernized buildings contain restrooms, and that all portable classrooms be replaced with permanent facilities. The revised plans provide restrooms on every floor of the new buildings and all portables removed, save for five at Villa Park.
The portables will remain at Villa Park to accommodate uncertain future enrollment. They will likely be needed in the short term, but as enrollment declines, they can be easily retired. The district is reluctant to spend money on new permanent classrooms that may not be needed. Villa Park parents attending the board meeting accepted the rationale for keeping the portables. “We support the Phase 2 recommendation,” says Villa Park constituent Joe Ferrentino. “Neither the ElMo or Villa Park options that the board approved were on the table in December. These plans are a much better use of the Measure S funds.”
During the same meeting, the board approved a $630,000 contract to LPA, Inc. to create a master facilities plan for the district. The plan is an update to one developed in 2003. The consultants will meet with teachers, administrators, parents and community members to determine priorities that will guide the district over the next decade.
El Modena will be home to a new 6,700-sq.-ft. modular classroom building; all two-story buildings will be renovated, the student services building expanded, and the 800 building and library renovated. Portable classrooms will be eliminated. Bid price is $1,800,000.
Villa Park is getting a new two-story, 18-classroom building; the 100/200 building will be renovated to meet ADA requirements and its restrooms improved. Security fencing and a single point of entry will be created. Five portables will remain. Cost is $1,800,000.
Canyon High’s old science classrooms will be modernized, four restrooms renovated and security fencing added. All portables will be removed. Cost is $620,000.
OUSD looks to Measure S Phase 2
Orange High School’s Phase 2 construction includes a new two-story 15-classroom building, security fencing and a new single point of entry. Building 100/200 will be demolished. No portables will remain. Bid price is $1,450,000.