– North County Times - Tuesday, August 19, 2003
7:17 AM PDT
Designs for first Prop. U projects unveiled
By: Andrea Moss
SABRE SPRINGS ---- Designs for the first of 24
school improvement projects that will be carried out
with money from a $198 million bond measure were presented
Monday to the Poway school board.
Known as Proposition U, the measure was approved by
voters last November. District officials have worked
since then to line out the projects' logistics and timing
and discuss individual campuses' needs with representatives
of the architectural firm NTD Associates.
The firm is owned by Jon Baker. Monday, during a public
presentation before the board's August meeting, he unveiled
designs that show what will be added and changed at
Midland and Westwood elementary schools and Mt. Carmel
and Poway high schools. Those are the campuses that
will be fixed up first.
John Collins, associate superintendent of the Poway
Unified School District, also gave a preview of a new
Web site designed to keep the public abreast of the
latest project developments. Linked to the district's
home page, the Web site is scheduled to go online Sept.
“ We really feel this is a great step in the communication
process so the community can go and look at it and see
if they have any questions about (the projects),"
The renovation projects are scheduled to start next
summer. Midland School, which is the oldest in the 32,000-student
school district, will be replaced with a new campus,
with some of the proposition money.
The new school design was developed with the help of
parents and community members who participated in a
two-day symposium in the spring. The result is a multistory-building
plan that will see most of the new school's structures
consolidated around the northwest corner of Midland
Road and Edgemoor Street in Old Poway.
Although the existing school occupies 8.7 acres at that
site, the property is smaller than the 11-12 acres that
the state recommends for an elementary school to serve
the 700-plus students that Midland has, Baker said.
The new campus will therefore include a pair of two-story
classroom buildings, he said. Separate kindergarten,
administration and multipurpose buildings and a library
centered around an open courtyard are also planned.
Opened in 1962, Westwood Elementary School features
a circular design that Baker said presented challenges
when it came to the school's renovation plan. Architects
decided to add two classroom buildings to existing ones
on the southern end of the campus and four new kindergarten
classrooms on its northern side.
The school's library will be turned into a computer
lab, its multipurpose room will become the new library,
and a new multipurpose room will be built, Baker said.
Preliminary work has already begun on Mt. Carmel. The
interiors of its classroom buildings will be extensively
renovated to create fewer but larger rooms, Baker said.
A new music building, new science and physical fitness
classrooms, improvements to the courtyard in front of
a performing arts center at the campus and a new entrance
are also planned for the school.
Poway High's renovation plan includes the addition of
several multistory buildings, a new music center and
a second courtyard to the school.
Parking has been a problem at Poway High for years.
Although the planned improvements do no include any
new parking lots, two existing student lots will be
restriped to create about 100 new spaces and extra visitor
parking spots will be added at the front of the campus.
Board members Penny Ranftle and Linda Vanderveen praised
the designs, calling them "absolutely fabulous"
and "great”, respectively. Parents' reactions
were a little more mixed.
Christy Summers, whose 4- and 7-year-old sons are potential
Midland students, said she was disappointed with the
design for that campus because it did not appear to
eliminate all portable classrooms at the school.
“ I had hoped with all the money we're putting
into it, we would have gotten rid of all of them,"
Karen and Kurt Kinney said they were pleased, though,
with the design for Mt. Carmel High School, where their
son will be a freshman this year.
“ The school looks like it's definitely in need
of some repair," said Karen Kinney. "So I'm
thrilled that they're going to go ahead with it."