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More classroom space, renovations ahead for three TUSD schools
THS renovations
The Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved plans to move forward with classroom projects at several campuses, including renovation of the B and L Wing at Turlock High School (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

Several campuses across Turlock Unified School District will soon see improvements after the Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the next steps to move forward with three different construction projects.

As development of Turlock High School’s new science building nears completion, Trustees gave the go-ahead for administration to solicit a Request for Proposal for the modernization of the campus’ B and L Wing, as well as two alternates for renovation of the East Wing. 

While TUSD typically solicits bids for its projects, the agreement the district is looking to enter into with a contractor for its classroom modernization project is called a “lease, lease back” agreement, explained Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Barney Gordon.

“Generally for the more simple and straightforward projects we’ll do a hard bid...for ones that are a little more complex or require a lot of coordination, specifically with students on campus or with the principal for a larger project that might extend into the school year where we might have to manage the student population a little bit, we’ll do what’s called a lease, lease back process,” he said.

Gordon continued to clarify that the difference between a hard bid and the lease, lease back process is that the district is able to select a contractor based on who will provide the best value, not who can provide the lowest price. It’s a complex process, he added, which sees the top three candidates interviewed and scored. 

The renovation of 18 classrooms, student restrooms and staff restrooms located within the THS B and L Wing is expected to cost $5,431,000. The district previously renovated the Wing’s roof and replaced its air conditioning units.

“The envelope of the classrooms is complete; we did that then, and now we’re going to go back and renovate the interior of the classrooms,” Gordon said. 

The first of two alternates included in the project adds a new exit door and ramp on the east side of the East Wing hallway to promote student safety by keeping student traffic within the newly-fenced perimeter. The second alternate will be for renovation of the East Wing restrooms. The alternates are estimated to cost $863,904.

“We’ll choose whether we think it’s economically viable to move forward with the two projects or not,” Gordon said of the alternates. 

Construction on the B, L and East Wing renovations is anticipated to begin June 1 and be completed by February 2022. 

TUSD is also soliciting bids for site work at Dutcher Middle School and Pitman High School after receiving authorization from the Board on Tuesday as well. Both campuses will see new modular classrooms installed — a total of eight classrooms and a new student restroom at DMS and six classrooms at PHS. 

Along with the new classrooms at DMS, the project will consist of renovations to the nearby paved walkways, student garden and asphalt courts. Paved walkways will be improved at PHS as well.

Director of Maintenance and Operations Scott Richardson first presented the project to the board last May, and from there TUSD entered into an agreement to have the new modular classrooms constructed at a plant in Manteca. The new classrooms are set to be ready for delivery in June and the company chosen during the bid process will complete site work at both campuses. 

According to Richardson, the total estimated cost of the two site projects is $1,436,584, including $836,584 of Bond Measure N funding and $600,000 of Bond Measure O funding.