Education feature: School district building projects coming closer to construction

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Wilson and Company Architects Janet Lacy goes over blueprints of James Bickley with the staff Wednesday during a preliminary construction meeting.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Schools in Clovis are slowly getting closer to seeing “hammer and nail” construction across the district.

Deputy Superintendent of Operations Joel Shirley and a team of architects visited James Bickley Elementary School Wednesday to talk to faculty and staff about what the renovation process will mean to them.

James Bickley is one of six schools in the district that will undergo construction between now and 2013. A new middle school will also be built by 2013.

Wilson and Company Senior Project Manager Janet Lacy walked the teachers through a list of 30 things that will be updated, renovated or added at the school.

Shirley said preliminary presentations will take place at each of the major renovation locations such as Marshall Middle School and Lockwood Elementary School.

Staff said the meeting was informative.

“I’ve worked here for 33 years so I’m excited about all the changes,” Teacher Karen Boreing said. “I hope to be kept in the loop.”

Boreing said she believes everything that will be renovated at the schools is necessary.

Principal Todd Morris said he’s been through the renovation process at a school in another district.

“This is good information for the teachers,” he said. “And the architects are great. They listen to us and try to give us all we can possibly get for the money.”

Morris said he believes the community’s money will be well-spent renovating one of the oldest schools in the district. James Bickley was built in 1946.

“We want to bring it back to its greatness,” he said.

Morris said it will be hard juggling the extreme renovations the school will undergo and the students. He said half of the classrooms will be emptied for construction.

“We’ll have to get the kids used to going to school in a construction zone,” he said. “But it will be well worth it.”

Shirley said architects and his staff want to get input from teachers because they will be in the building the most.

“They know things the design staff won’t know,” Shirley said.

Shirley said teacher input will make the renovated buildings a better learning environment for students.

Clovis Municipal Schools Capital Outlay projects
(as of February 5, 2010)
Arts Academy at Bella Vista
• Renovations throughout.
• Addition of a performing arts center, and 11 classroom additions.
• Construction begins October 2010.
• Completion scheduled for August 2012.

James Bickley Elementary School
• Renovations throughout.
• Addition of three kindergarten classrooms.
• District is at the start of the design phase.
• Design to be completed in March 2011 with construction to follow.
• Anticipated completion is July 2013.

La Casita Elementary School
• Renovations throughout and a nine-classroom addition to replace portables.
• Addition of a physical education facility.
• Construction would begin in June 2010.
• Completion scheduled for January 2012.

Lockwood Elementary School

• Renovations throughout and the addition of four kindergarten classrooms.
• District is early in the design phase.
• Design to be completed in February 2011 with construction to follow.
• Anticipated completion is July 2013.

Marshall Middle School
• Renovations primarily in the north building.
• Renovation of all bathroom facilities to meet ADA compliance standards.
• Replacement of the special education facility.
• Construction to begin June 2010.
• Completion scheduled for August 2012.

Zia Elementary School
• Roof replacement, HVAC, and day lighting.
• Project would begin Spring 2010 for scheduled completion January 2011.

New Middle School
• Design for a new middle school.
• Phase I includes core areas for 900 students with classrooms for 450 students.
• Phase II would complete the facility to accommodate 900 students.
• Completion scheduled for April 2013.