As the demand for extended day kindergarten continues to make Wakefield Elementary School more and more of an option for students in Turlock Unified School District, the Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to move forward with a project that will help accommodate more students and create an appearance similar to other kindergarten programs throughout the district.
“Really the trigger that brought us to this point in discussing what to do with playgrounds and facilities at the Wakefield campus was simply that we had too many students who needed playtime out on the playground and not enough facilities to offer them,” said Director of Maintenance Operations Scott Richardson.
The Board of Trustees voted to authorize administration to enter into an agreement with FF&J Architects for design and project oversight for the Wakefield Elementary Kindergarten Relocation Project.
Proceeding forward with the funding that is currently available to TUSD, FF&J Architects will develop a plan to relocate six existing re-locatable classrooms currently on campus, as well as to construct a new 12-foot by 40-foot re-locatable restroom building.
“Right now we’ve got portables facing lots of different directions and they really are not oriented towards any one area,” said Richardson. “We would like to align the kindergarten facility out there much more closely with what we have on other campuses.”
The relocation will occur in the southeasterly portion of the site by the new kindergarten playground structure, which is expected to be completed in December.
“We asked last year in the LCAP process for some funds to build an additional playground on campus,” said Richardson. “We were allocated funds for a new playground for the kindergarten programs and a new playground for Head Start, which will be constructed after the kindergarten playground is done. Each cost about $75,000.
“At that time, the current play structure they are all sharing now will be demolished because it is well over 20 years old,” added Richardson.
Richardson said at the time administration asked for funding for the playground structures, they also asked to allocate funding for a future project that could potentially include rebuilding or relocating the kindergarten facility, as well as providing a new restroom.
“Right now, the children in those kindergarten classes are having to be taken to restroom time in groups because they don’t have a restroom dedicated to kindergarten or a restroom close to their classrooms,” said Richardson. “They can’t just leave the classroom and go to the restroom on their own.”
The project is expected to cost TUSD a fixed fee of $26,500. Depending on funding made available upon the outcome of the bond election on Tuesday, however, the district could consider other options, which include setting building on concrete stem wall foundations or developing six new modular classrooms and a new modular restroom building.