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Update: School Board Approves Measure J Master Plan Phases II and III

The South San Francisco High auditorium held close to 100 student athletes last night, sitting in for the much anticipated vote on school improvements.

Update 9:50pm: With a 3-2 vote, the school board passed the Master Plan for Phases II and III of Measure J improvements, which includes replacing classrooms and athletic fields. 

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Tonight the South City school board has a big decision to make. Trustees will vote on whether to approve the Master Plans for Phases II and III of Measure J school improvements.

These phases encompass the bulk of construction projects that the bond measure, passed in Nov. 2010, will pay for.

Total expenditures for Phase II are estimated to be $64,748,000 and $68.7 million for Phase III, predicted to wrap up in 2017.

According to the Master Plan document, Phase II would include spending $33.5 million on new modulars to replace old portables, $3.7 million on playgrounds at elementary schools, up to $5 million on seismic improvements, and $2.3 million on a new Buri Buri Elementary design.

Phases I and II would put totals of just over $5 million into South San Francisco High School athletic fields and just over $4 at El Camino High.

Vice president of the school board Phil Weise said on Wednesday that he will vote for the first phase of athletics facilities improvements, but that he wasn't convinced by the second phase for athletics. The later phase includes what Weise considers non-essentials, such as stands and concession structures.

"We have 10,000 kids in our district and not all of them play football," Weise said. "One of the specific things we promised is upgrade science classrooms, but I still haven’t seen a plan. As much as I like football, I think our schools deserve science."

Also at Thursday's meeting, the board will receive a presentation on a proposal to release Los Cerritos Elementary students at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. The proposal includes adding 10-minute segments of additional instruction time onto other days of the week to compensate for the early release.

PLEASE NOTE: The meeting will take place at the South San Francisco High School auditorium at 400 B Street, at 6:30 p.m.

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Sarah Ling October 26, 2012 at 08:29 AM
With decreasing funding for education, what a waste of money to put into improving athletic fields. Maybe the school district should focus on improving academic facilities, provide more environmentally friendly sources of energy, hire more teachers (class size makes a big difference!), fund more the performing arts departments, replace old computers, and expand the library, and these are just some ideas. The School board NEEDS to sort out their priorities.
Eric Jacobson October 26, 2012 at 02:11 PM
How many School Board meetings have you attended? Have you ever been to El Camino's Track, Field, or ever sat in our Bleachers? Do you know that certain days over 700 Physical Education students participate on a field and Track that is unsafe. Do you know that the facility is 51 years old and showing it's age, and the Bleachers are unsafe for parents to sit in.. Have you ever read the voters text for Measure J? Before you make a comment you should know that the District has made every school in the SSFUSD run by solar power. Funds from Measure J have been alotted to make our schools safer by replacing old portables,that are 30-40 years old. Funds have been allotted to improve our Science Labs. So before you pass judments on what our School district needs, and criticise our School Board do your homework. Before you make a comment, attend a school Board meeting, and find out the Measure J money is being spent on. See you at the next school board meeting
Jim C October 26, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Sarah, I'm pretty sure that if you took a tour of the athletic fields at our high schools you would feel differently. These fields are over 50 years old and have not been maintained well. The monies that should have been spent on maintenance (and replacing these fields sooner) were, I'm sure, spent on academic facilities. And I'm sure that each time the decision to do that was made, it was the right decision. But it is time to pay the piper. The athletic fields have been neglected and it is absolutely time to step in and fix them. Measure J was sold to us, in part, by promising these upgrades and we will hold the school board to those promises. Also, I agree that academics should take priority. But that is not ALL that high school is about. Allowing our children the "normal" high school opportunities of going to a football game with their boyfriend and not having to worry about (not exaggerating here) the floor boards of the bleachers falling out below their feet should be part of everyone's high school experience.
Shannon Keach October 26, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Yes the field is dilapidated, I agree that it does need to be upgraded and that it is unsafe, however, the current proposed plan is ostentatious at best. Show me the need for the second baseball field, in an area that we use quite frequently, are they going to replace the portables that are going to have to be demolished because of this? And no where in the minutes is it explained that there are funds being allotted for science, you talk of the field not being updated in 51 years, the same goes for the our science equipment, have you seen our microscopes and some of the lab equipment? What of the stage in the little theatre? How many more of our students have to perform in unsafe conditions before that is updated? Or our band equipment that has needed to be repaired for years. The photography enlargers and the cameras, our lack of art supplies. And, what about the Robert Garrett Memorial Garden? It will have to be demolished for this plan, and is the district going to put forth funds to reimburse those involved for the funds they put toward it, half of which was donated after Garrett's passing? I have read the minutes, the transcripts, I am making an informed opinion. I do believe the track and field need an update, I don't believe athletic needs two baseball fields and a concession stand.
Eric Jacobson October 26, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Shannon the only thing this bond will cover is the football field, Track, & Bleachers. If you went to the meeting you would know that there is money allotted for the science Lab and will be presented at the board Meeting on Nov. 8th. We have already made steps to move the garden to a more suitable spot on campus, where the kids can actually see it. The Memorial will remain for Mr. Garrett right where it is. The Baseball fields and consession stands will not be covered by this Bond's money. Everything other than the Track/field/ and Bleachers will need to have a new school Bond voted for and passed by the SSF voters.When you do a Master plan you have to include all the projects you may want to do in the next 20 years. If you want something in the future go to a board meeting and state your case otherwise don't complain about what is getting done. I have been to every Board meeting in the past 9 months, how many have you been too? See you at the next Board Meeting Nov. 8th
chrissy October 26, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I guess you should wait to upgrade the fields until a parent sues El Camino when their kid falls and brakes their neck on one of the holes in the field. Then things would get done REAL fast!

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