While all eyes are on the emergency construction project at John Muir/SMASH, preplanned projects have continued

While all eyes are on the emergency construction project at John Muir/SMASH, preplanned projects have continued at schools throughout the district with plans for work at McKinley and Grant currently open for public review.

The district is approaching the final phase of its multi-year Campus Assessment process to evaluate improvements to elementary and middle schools. Nine schools were evaluated and officials are working to allocate funds from the $485M Measure SMS bond approved by voters in 2018.

At McKinley the proposed project would be constructed in three phases over approximately 5.70 acres of the 6.48-acre campus. Plans include 11 existing portable classrooms, playground restrooms, one modular building, and one elevator being selectively demolished and removed for a total of 82,505 square feet of demolition over three phases.

At Grant, construction would also be in three phases and would occur over 5.41 acres of the 6.01-acre District-owned campus. Work would include the demolition and removal of some existing structures, including 10 existing modular classrooms, playground restrooms, shade structures, and a portion of one permanent building. The project includes renovation of some structures that remain, construction of two new buildings, new and reconfigured playfields and playgrounds, and two new and reconfigured parking lots.

The environmental review process for two schools will open soon. The district will hold in-person meetings on Jan. 31 for McKinley and Feb. 7 for Grant to accept comments from the community.

The scoping meetings are part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process and will cover historical findings, campus plans, and discuss findings of the Initial Study (IS) that was prepared for each campus.

Following the public meetings and feedback from regulators, the district will prepare a final report for presentation to the SMMUSD Board in the Spring of this year.

A similar process has already concluded for other schools including Franklin, JAMS and Will Rogers.

The proposed Franklin project consists of removing and demolishing eight buildings and nine portables, constructing three new buildings, and renovating two buildings and outdoor areas on the existing school campus.

At JAMS the project would occur over four phases and would result in demolition of one existing building, construction of one new building, and renovation/reuse of six existing buildings over an approximate span of 10 to 15 years.

At Will Rogers, the project would result in the addition of the property located at 1515 Maple Street to campus and the removal/demolition of 16 portable and permanent buildings, construction of three new buildings, renovation and reuse of eight existing buildings (classrooms and cafetorium) and outdoor spaces, and reconfiguration of outdoor and parking/transportation areas over an approximate span of 10 to 15 years.

Those projects have concluded the comment process and moved through approval by the SMMUSD Board.

To attend one of the upcoming meetings (McKinley Elementary School, Jan. 31, 801 Montana Ave. and Grant Elementary School Feb. 7, 2368 Pearl St.), register at: https://bit.ly/CmtyMtngs2023.

For more information on SMMUSD construction projects, visit https://www.smmusd.org/Page/5527.


Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...