Kindergarten teacher Julie Neff is one of more than a dozen
teachers at North County Joint Unified School District who will be
getting new classrooms in the fall as a result of $3 million
Hollister – Kindergarten teacher Julie Neff is one of more than a dozen teachers at North County Joint Unified School District who will be getting new classrooms in the fall as a result of $3 million modernization program.
For Neff moving into a new classroom is like moving into a new home.
“The classrooms have deteriorated over the last few years and it was time for new ones,” Neff said. “I’m very excited, it will be rejuvenating for the teachers and students.”
Dozens of classrooms at the Spring Grove School are being replaced and the school is undergoing major modernization for the first time since the school was built in 1974.
Dan Usher, project manager for general contractor Cal-Air, said work was going smoothly and the new classrooms would be ready before the start of the school year.
“It’s going great, everything is right on schedule,” Usher said.
Work began the day after school ended, June 13, with the demolition of 12 structures, mostly portable classrooms. The classrooms, which Usher said were in “pretty bad” condition, will be replaced with brand new portable units. The new mobile classrooms, 14 in all, will have much better heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
“It’s outstanding for the students,” Usher said. “The environment will be much more pleasing.”
In addition to the classrooms, the school will also add a new district office and science building. The entire classroom area will also be paved.
County Superintendent of Schools Tim Foley said the district chose portable classrooms as the most cost-effective way to provide additional classroom space. The state-of-the-art structures are really not very portable and will resemble foundation-built structures, Foley said.
Foley added that he was proud of the district’s efforts, which were led by superintendent Howard Chase.
“The Spring Grove community is finally going to have a school to match the quality of their instructional program,” Foley said.
Fiscal Services Manager Shannon Hansen said the project will generate more school pride for students, teachers and administrators. Hansen is also looking forward to having an indoor bathroom at the new district office. Parents will have easier access to the new office and will no longer have to go through the school to reach the building, Hansen said.
North County Board of Trustees President Renee Faught has been working on the project for the last two of her four terms on the board. She said the renovations were a long-time in coming. Faught, who sent her children to the school many years ago, said seeing the old classrooms demolished was “a little emotional,” but she’s excited about the new classrooms and especially the new science building.
“We’re going to have a brand new science building with modern equipment,” she said. “I think it will be very beneficial to the students.”
Teachers and administrators have been very supportive of the moving process and Faught is glad they will have new classrooms in the fall. She said the entire community pitched in to help make the move into the new buildings easier.
“This has been our dream,” Faught said. “We’ve been working on this for a long-time and it’s finally happening. This building is not only for our current students, but also for the students of generations to come.”
Brett Rowland covers education for the Free Lance. He can be reached at 831-637-5566 ext. 330.