By Hannah Parker
The Hermosa Beach City School District voted on series of measures and contracts at the Feb 15. meeting in relation to bond Measure S which allocates money to repairs and reconstruction of HBCSD schools.
Measure S is a 59 million dollar General Obligation Bond Measure that was passed by Hermosa Beach voters last June. The bond will be used to fund the construction of a new school at North, modernization and new construction at Hermosa View school and modernization at Hermosa Valley School.
“The scope of the project will is big and exciting,” HBCSD Superintendent Patricia Escalante said. “The next steps will be to focus on efficiency, excellent design, community involvement, maximizing every dollar and to build fantastic schools.”
The district approved the hiring of a consultant, in order to work with various construction companies and architects for the planning and construction phase of the project, according to the HBCSD. Additionally, HBSDC approved the agreement with Montague and DeRose and Associates to continue to provide disclosure services for Measure S General Obligation Bonds.
“There must be a well thought out process in place in order to efficiently achieve our goals.” Escalante said. “During the pre-construction phase it is required that a number of studies are conducted by experts to ensure that the proposed project meets all the regulatory standard.
The schools were built in 1930’s, 1950’s and 1980’s and do not meet the needs of students today and in the future, Escalante said. With the renovations, Kindergarten through second grade will be taught at North school, third through forth will be taught at Hermosa View School, and fifth through eight will be taught at Valley. According to Escalante, this will help the overcrowding issue at HBCSD schools.
“The state of the classrooms does not fit the needs of our students” Escalante said. “With Measure S, students will learn in schools that are designed for this century. Students will also have proper classrooms, specialty classrooms and secure and safe schools.”
Since the approval of Measure S, HBCSD created a Citizen’s Oversight Committee, interviewed and hired an architect and a construction management firms, held monthly team meetings, toured schools, met with teachers and the community to get input for design schematics and hired of pre-construction consultants.
“We have been making significant efforts in order to reach out the community,” Escalante said. “The community is invited to attend all board meetings where there is an opportunity to address the board during public comments, and to give their input at community input meetings.”
According to Escalante, the district is still in the pre-construction stage and renovations have not begun. However, the district is working to identify projects that could be completed over the summer when the campuses are closed. Additionally, Community Outreach Meetings scheduled for the 28, March 1st and March 2nd will be general meeting about each specific school site.
“My future goals it to create schools where students thrive,” Escalante said. “ I would like to see the community as a partnership, where it is safe, where learning is relevant and students are productive learners.”