This week, the Atascadero Unified School District celebrates the completion of its most significant and expensive school improvement project to date.
On Thursday, dignitaries including Atascadero Mayor Tom O'Malley, Atascadero Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Linda Hendy and the district Board of Trustees are invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Monterey Road Elementary School, marking the end of the first major project funded by the $117 million school improvement bond measure approved by local voters in November 2010.
“This is virtually a complete overhaul of an elementary school,” said Stu Stoddard, the district’s director facilities. “It’s nice to see all the planning and all the thoughtfulness come to a conclusion and (turn) out so well.”
Atascadero’s Wysong Construction broke ground on the $8.2 million modernization project in June 2012, installing new sidewalks, new roofs and a new heating, cooling and ventilation system.
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Stoddard said the overhaul included an emphasis on “thoughtful architecture” — such as gabled ceilings, skylights and fans — enabling teachers to control the comfort level in their classrooms.
Other changes at the school, originally built in 1961, included repaved parking areas and improved disabled access between classroom buildings and playfields. In addition, workers connected Monterey Road Elementary to the Atascadero sewer system.
Students, teachers and staff remained on campus during construction last school year. They returned to Monterey Road Elementary on Aug. 21.
According to Stoddard, crews completed two other district school improvement projects this summer: a $1.4 million gym renovation project at Atascadero High School and a $1.1 million modernization project at Carrisa Plains Elementary School.
Similar renovation projects are planned for the future, he added, with work starting at Santa Rosa Academic Academy in March 2014 and Atascadero Junior High School in 2015.