The Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) board of trustees recently approved a modernization project for Ivy High School which will include new portable classrooms.
According to a recent FUHSD meeting agenda, the total anticipated budget for the project is $1,487,075. The budget covers architectural services, pre-construction services, construction services, the portable buildings, and a contingency budget. Approximately $750,000 will be used for construction costs.
“The buildings were old,” said Ivy principal Melissa Marovich. “The buildings were purchased used in 1978. As the years passed, the prefabricated buildings were cobbled together, and it’s obvious that they really have a shelf life. Some of the original buildings were rebuilt to extend that shelf life, but it became apparent [new buildings were needed].”
The project will leave the high school with the same footprint, but with more cohesiveness, said Marovich.
“We are going to tear the whole thing down,” she said. “The new buildings will look permanent and cohesive in layout.”
In addition, the new cohesion of the buildings will allow for better security at Ivy, stated Marovich, who also said that the project is set to take place immediately after graduation this year.
Wil Hatcher, FUHSD chief business officer, stated that the school’s utility systems will also be brought up to current code.
“We will be doing grading and new plumbing,” he said. “The school will look more like the district office buildings.”
“We have to move out the day after graduation because they are tearing down everything on June 1,” she said. “They are going to have the project done in 60 days or less.”
Erickson-Hall, the construction company in charge of the modernization project, has done similar projects at schools in the Grossmont area with similar timelines, said Marovich.
“They say it shouldn’t be a problem for them,” she explained. “It helps that the buildings are prefabricated, and will be simply rolled off the trucks.”
“This year made the most sense [for construction],” said Hatcher. “With the new summer calendar, we have a three month window. Last summer wouldn’t have worked with the new academic calendar.”
“We began working with the architect almost a year ago, so the plans have been well under way,” he continued. “It sounds simple, but things are always more complicated than they seem. So if we are not quite ready to move in for school [at the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year], we will move Ivy students to the 400 buildings [at Fallbrook High], which have not been in use because of declining enrollment.”
The funds for the modernization project are coming from the developer fees fund, also known as the capital facilities fund, said Hatcher.
“This fund is strictly for buildings,” he said. “We are upgrading technology and curriculum through Common Core funds so that they meet new state standards in the upcoming years, so it wouldn’t make sense to purchase new materials.”
“[Modernizing buildings at Ivy] has been the intent for these funds since 2010-2011,” continued Hatcher. “The buildings were seriously dilapidated. About five years ago, one of the buildings collapsed, and about eight feet had to be cut off of the wall.”
Hatcher does not see any large concerns with the modernization project being completed within deadline.
“I have been involved with many renovation projects, and each has its own peculiarities and uniqueness,” he said. “I don’t see any part of it that strikes me as not being done well under time.”
Marovich stated students are excited for the new buildings.
“Seniors are proud to be the last class to graduate from the old buildings, and the other students are excited to be the first to graduate from the new buildings,” she said.