Making the Most of Every Dollar
As the Facilities and Operations departments move forward with Phase 2 of Measure G, they are making the most of every dollar with Prop 39 energy improvements.
The $5 million received from Prop 39 will enable energy dollars to go to other needs as construction begins in the summer of 2019 on the Measure G Phase 2 school sites: Neil Hafley, Nile Garden, East Union High School and Manteca High School.
Aaron Bowers, Director of Facilities and Operations explained, “Proposition 39 is related to creating green energy jobs. So it has funded energy efficient projects like HVAC replacements, and lighting retrofits.”
Prop 39 Progress
Retrofitting lights means keeping the existing light fixture while bypassing the ballast in order to replace the fluorescent tubes with LED bulbs.
“We are about 85% through the program and have about a year left of funding,” said Bowers.
“We have retrofitted parking lot lights and interior lights. We are also doing HVAC units across the district.”
HVAC—or heating and air conditioning—improvements are a huge cost savings as they are replacing some units that are 20 years old and do not hold temperature well. These upgrades will also dramatically improve classroom climate.
“This funding increases how far Measure G can be stretched as it allows Measure G to take care of other health and safety items,” explained Bowers. “For example, Sequoia had 11 units identified in Prop 39 that allowed the Measure G funds to build a new building.”
When it comes to efficiency, many of the old HVAC units were too old to even have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER).
“If we tried to rate their efficiency, they would probably be in the SEER 8 level,” said Bowers. “These new units are rated upwards of SEER 14-15, which is right on the cusp of being certified as green buildings. The higher number the better.”
Fund 40 Facilities
As they finish up Prop 39, and get ready to start moving soil for the Measure G projects in the summer, there are some Fund 40 Facilities Upgrade Projects projects happening at Weston Ranch.
“Weston Ranch is a fully Department of State Architects (DSA) approved project for an all-weather track and new hybrid Bermuda natural turf grass,” said Bowers. “This also includes all the facilities for the jumping events for track: pole vault, high-jump, long-jump and triple jump.”
The bigger concern for the project was all the infrastructure improvements, such as drainage.
“One of the biggest issues in Weston Ranch was soil type, proper compaction and moisture content,” said Bowers. “So a lot of the improvements were needed to the infrastructure of the field. We have ripped out the entire track and field and are putting in all-new irrigation.”
Planned to be comparable to Sierra High’s track and field, it is planned to be finished in February—in time for track season.
Measure G Moves Ahead
The Facilities and Operations Department are making great progress on Increment One of Phase Two of Measure G.
“We are now working on Neil Hafley, Nile Garden, Manteca High School and East Union High School,” said Bowers. “We have board approval for each of these projects for schematic design. We know what we are building and the parts of what we are building.”
As the architects design and develop to include floor plan, elevation, cabinet placement and more, Bowers meets with key people to advise the process.
“Each school site has a core planning team that includes the site principal, office manager, head custodian, two teachers from the site, and the district office facilities team,” said Bowers. “Those two teachers were very important to bring the site’s perspective. It is their job to visit with other teachers and get feedback on the design. They then bring back those comments so that site teachers are engaged in the design process.”
According to the Master Facilities plan, each school has a portion of modernization that is implemented from removing portables and replacing them with new classrooms. But the majority of each project is modernization of existing buildings.
“It could be HVAC, electrical, fire alarms, carpets, interior finishes, or cabinets,” said Bowers. “A portion of each projects’ budget is that kind of modernization.”
Adhering very closely to what is approved in the plan as approved by the voters. Health and safety, modernization upgrades, deferred maintenance and code compliance are the four priorities that every project is aligned with.
“For example, at East Union we are replacing the Ag wing because it serves as a compact solution that replaces some classrooms, some failed portables, and some site improvements that are all around the building,” said Bowers. “You cannot address the Ag shop issues that we have out there without the site work we have around the Ag Shop.”
Bowers explained that there is a $1.6 million Career Technology Education (CTE) Incentive Grant to help with the East Union project and that MUSD has applied for another $3 million for the project through the CTE facilities grant process.
“We are doing the most efficient project according to the budgets that we have,” said Bowers.
At Manteca High, there is a $15 million Measure G contribution as part of a total $40 million project. The bulk of the funding is related to growth, which includes a new gym and cafeteria expansion to accommodate 2,200 students.
“The new classroom building will be two story, with anywhere from 12-16 new classrooms, which will be built where the current softball field is located,” said Bowers. “The admin building will be connected to the two-story classroom building and located off Sherman and Moffat to make a new front of campus.”
The Facilities and Operations team are moving forward and construction will begin in the summer of 2019.