Dirt will fly and moving vans roar this summer as the Garden Grove Unified School District starts the renovations and modernizations authorized by the Measure A bond issue.
Passed by GGUSD voters in 2010, the program for bringing local schools up to current standards for safety, utility, and handicapped access will start to bear fruit once school is out.
“People might wonder what’s taken so long,” said Sue McCann, the assistant superintendent for business services for the GGUSD, “but getting approvals from a variety of state agencies is a complicated and time-consuming process.”
As arduous as it is, the bond issue could actually result in a bigger benefit than planned. Originally, it was projected that the $250 million bond put up by the GGUSD would be matched by another $200 million in state money.
But thanks to successful pursuit of other state education grants, the local school system will instead be getting about $635 million instead of the original $450 million planned.
“A lot of the credit for that goes to our director of facilities, Stuart Moe,” said McCann.
Preliminary plans for the first phase of construction was unveiled at a study session of the district Board of Education Tuesday afternoon and evening. The outline calls for students at three schools – Monroe and Garden Park elementary and Bell Intermediate – to relocate to nearby school sites for one year, starting in the fall.
In some cases, the students will occupy temporary “portable” classrooms on a neighboring campus; where space allows, they’ll fill underused rooms. Chapman-Hettinga, located at Chapman Avenue and Knott Street, will be prepped for use as a kind of educational “hotel” taking in school populations while their campuses are being renovated.
Adult education functions now at Chapman (originally an intermediate school) will move to the Lincoln Education Center on Garden Grove Boulevard near Euclid Street.
The largest single chunks of the bond issue will go to the high schools, which have the biggest campus facilities. Garden Grove High, for example, will get $17.2 million of the state’s share of the project, while Bolsa Grande, Santiago and Rancho Alamitos are in the $14 million range, and Los Amigos, La Quinta and Pacifica in the $10 million range.
Age is a factor; the older the school, the more likely it’s in need of upgraded plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. GGHS is the oldest school in the district , having been founded in 1921 and opened on its current site in 1923.