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School Improvement Project Begins
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Demolition work has started on the campus of Escalon High School, with a half dozen classrooms and the ag building the first areas being renovated as part of a multi-phase improvement project. Marg Jackson/The Times

A multi-faceted, multi-million dollar renovation and upgrade for the Escalon Unified School District is under way.

Escalon High School is the first school site to be getting work done, currently in the demolition phase, said Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa.

“They are doing six classrooms in the front of the school and the ag building,” Costa explained of construction crews. “They are taking it down to the studs, over the next two to four weeks they will be in demolition mode and taking things out, getting ready to start the rebuilding.”

Renovation of the half dozen classrooms in the front of the building, near the corner of Yosemite and Stanislaus, is due for completion June 6.

“The Ag building (work) is more extensive, it is scheduled to be done around Aug. 1, so both of these projects will be finished before school starts next year,” added Costa.

As soon as school is out, the construction crews will start on a couple more buildings on the high school campus, with the computer lab and technology room upgrades due for completion about a month after the 2014-15 school year begins in August. The front hall of the school and the science wing will be done about three weeks after school starts.

“Then they have two more wings that will be phased in, one will be starting when school starts and one will be starting in November, finishing in January,” Costa explained.

During the project, classrooms at the high school have been shuffled around, and the work areas are cordoned off so students can’t access them.

“Any empty rooms we had, we are using,” Costa said of finding homes for the classes that are impacted. “The band, for instance, has moved up on to the stage of the performing arts center so a class could move into the band room.”

Costa said the students and staff are cooperating, making the shifts as necessary to accommodate the project.

Work is planned at every site in the district as part of the bond project, spread out over several phases, with projects designed to improve the working and learning conditions and meet a variety of standards. The high school work is the first of four phases, said Costa, and local firm C.T. Brayton and Sons is serving as the general contractor for the project.