The Board of Education has reached consensus on the first package of school improvement projects to be funded under the $375 million Measure G facilities bond, prioritizing air conditioning projects, elementary school renovations, high school athletic facility upgrades and investment in technology districtwide.
The Board on March 23 will consider formally approving the projects, which are estimated to cost $52 million and which have been drawn from the district’s Facilities Master Plan.
“We now have clear direction from our Board,” said Interim Superintendent Ginger Shattuck. “Once we get the official green light at the next Board meeting, we can begin the exciting process of renovating our schools and facilities.”
The top priorities span three major categories: renovation of existing facilities, new construction and technology upgrades. These projects include:
Elementary school renovations:
- Air conditioning in school offices and multi-purpose rooms in elementary schools districtwide.
- Dulles and Chavez elementary schools to receive air conditioning systems campus-wide, including in school offices, multi-purpose rooms and in classrooms.
Middle school renovations:
- Air conditioning in offices and multi-purpose rooms at four middle schools and El Camino High School, which are sites that lack systems in these rooms.
High school athletic facility upgrades:
- The expansion of gymnasium and locker rooms at La Mirada High and the modernization of gymnasium and locker rooms at John Glenn High.
- Begin the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process for possible stadiums at John Glenn and Norwalk high schools. If CEQA plans are approved, another Board vote would be required prior to start of construction.
- New artificial turf softball and baseball fields at John Glenn High School.
Technology upgrades districtwide:
- Computer devices on a 1:1 ratio for grades four through 12; 2:1 for transitional kindergarten through third grade.
- New classroom digital display equipment.
- Installation and upgrade of wiring and infrastructure needed to make all technology run smoothly.
NLMUSD Board of Education President Jesse Urquidi commended his colleagues for reaching a consensus on prioritizing bond projects.
“Our discussions have been very thoughtful ones,” Urquidi said. “The voters entrusted us to spend these funds in a way that meets the most urgent needs of our students. I believe the projects we are choosing are a great first step.”
The District plans to issue approximately $52 million in bonds every three years over the course of roughly 20 years under Measure G, approved by voters in November. Board members also could opt for a type of financing that will allow the District to spend up to $70 million in one or more of the bond allocations if a group of projects does not fit neatly into a $52 million package.
Board members discussed the projects during meetings throughout February, ultimately providing staff with direction March 9.