FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are we expanding MES?
We are expanding to accommodate the anticipated growth in our student population as well as to replace our very old portable classrooms. Our neighborhood is experiencing a natural evolution that all areas go through. Montclair was an aging portion of the city for many years and our school enrollment declined steadily. As older home owners sold their homes they typically were purchased by young families with school age children.
For example, at one time there were more than one thousand students at Montclair, grades K-6. Neighboring Thornhill School was built to accommodate all the neighborhood growth and ease the burden on Montclair.
Why are we expanding NOW?
Extra space is needed now and we have funding available through Measure B to pay for construction.
What are the key elements of the Construction Project?
There are three phases –
Phase I -Planning and development. Currently underway.
Phase II – Prep work. During the Summer of 2011 we will remove the cafeteria, and two of the older portables A & F that are currently used for third grade classes. The four modern portables G,H,I & J will be relocated to the area behind where the cafeteria currently stands. Both our cafeteria and After School program will be relocated to the auditorium at the northern (downhill) edge of campus. The play structure that is currently behind the cafeteria will be removed and stored to be placed later in the project and two new portables will be brought in to replace A & F. These portables will be removed when construction is complete.
Phase III – Construction. Two structures will be built – a large multi-purpose room and a 10 classroom building. Portables B, C, D, and E (the four older portables currently used for the Computer lab, Language League, Art and Special Education) will be removed and the play yard will be resurfaced and redesigned.
How many students attend MES currently? How many students will the new school accommodate?
Currently, 438 attend our school. Projected enrollment for 2011/12 is 449 students. The final number once the new building is completed is projected and planned at not to exceed 500.
Who is in charge of this project? What is the role of OUSD, Principal, Staff, Parents, Community?
OUSD is responsible for the planning of this project with input from the community. Our principal Nancy Bloom has been and will continue to be an integral part of the project team. Teachers, parents and members of the community have provided significant input during the design phase of this project, and our parent-led Construction Committee will continue to monitor the project and keep parents and community informed throughout the construction phases. Larry Magid is leading that effort firstname.lastname@example.org .
What are the benefits of this project?
Classrooms: 10 new state-of-the-art classrooms in a new energy efficient building for grades 3, 4, and 5 that maximizes natural light and ventilation . All K, 1, and 2 classes will be housed in the existing building. New staff workroom, all new bathrooms, new space for playground equipment. Portables G, H, I & J become permanent to allow us space for art, music, computers and Language League classes.
Multi-purpose room: New, larger 750 person capacity – imagine Winter Sing indoors! Large enough to accommodate all students, faculty and lots of families at one time. New cafeteria that can accommodate all the students at one time, new kitchen with the potential to be a cooking kitchen, new bathrooms, upgraded assembly features including audio and projection, stage, living roof with outdoor classroom/observation space.
Garden: Enlarged, enough space for planting areas for all classes and an outdoor classroom, storage, future green house, sinks, outside space for more learning opportunities
Landscaping in Upper Yard: Upgrade of gardens, change all slopes on the hillsideto landscaped areas, outdoor classroom space for all classrooms on the first floor, more shade on the playground, more trees on the upper playground. Overall a significant upgrade to our existing upper play yard.
Parking and drop-off area – this will be upgraded, planted, resurfaced, restriped, with lights added to make it safer at night.
Which classrooms will be replaced by the new building? When will these classrooms be removed/demolished?
See answer above
What changes are being made to the existing school building?
New phone system, PA system and upgrades to alarm system. Nothing else is anticipated.
What are the key steps and schedule for the project?
Three phases, as described above.
When will construction begin on the new building?
Phase II will take place during summer of 2011. Phase III, construction of the new 10-classroom building and multi-purpose room will commence as soon as the California Division of the State Architect has approved the plan, optimistically fall of 2011, but could be later in the 2011/12 school year.
When will the new building be completed?
18 months +/- after ground breaking. We anticipate occupancy of the new classroom building with the opening of the 2013/2014 school year.
What will be happening this summer (2011)?
Demolition of the cafeteria, portables A and F, move play structure, portable bathrooms, all trenching and undergrounding of utilities needed for new building, add two new portables, relocate AT. Relocation of Portables G, H, I & J.
What is the budget for the overall project?
Where are the funds coming from?
Measure B bond funds, approved by Oakland voters in 2006 as the Measure B School Facilities Improvement Bond.
Who manages them?
OUSD Capital Facilities staff.
How much has been spent to date?
$1.8 million (10% of total) has been spent for design, architecture, landscape architecture and project management for the new buildings, as well as purchase and installation of four new portable classrooms (G, H, I and J) services to date.
Are we on track?
Yes. So far we are slightly under budget; hopefully will remain at or under budget through construction.
What elements of the project are to be funded through the PTA?
Maintenance on the living roof – PTA approved this in spirit and will cover the cost of a licensed landscaper to maintain. All other garden maintenance will happen through the Earth Lab volunteers as it does now. As the project progresses and we have better cost and budget information there may be other items that fall outside the project budget but which parents decide are worth raising funds to provide.
IMPACTS DURING CONSTRUCTION
Safety and Security: What precautions are being taken to ensure the safety and security of children at MES during the construction of the new school building?
Appropriate fencing as required by law to separate construction workers, equipment and materials from students, parents, staff and community; In addition, the school will conduct safety training for staff and students prior to and during the construction period.
Summer 2011: What impact will the project have on activities at the school during summer recess, 2011?
At times the playground will be closed during trenching and moving of buildings. Adventure Time will be located at a neighboring elementary school, to be determined by where OUSD holds summer school.
Will the community have access to the school yard and/or parking lot(s) during the summer of 2011?
Off and on as needed for construction. Signs will be posted.
Impacts during school years 2011-12 and 2012-13
How will the construction project impact daily dropoff, pickup and parking? Morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up parking will be reduced as the back portion of the parking lot (where current basketball hoops are) will be used for staging of construction materials throughout the construction process and will not be available for parking. Parent-volunteer greeters will continue to help with morning dropoff. Our good neighbor Lucky Supermarket has offered the use of their parking lot for parent parking during morning dropoff and afternoon pickup. Also, we will likely need additional parent volunteers each morning to help walk children safely around the construction site and down Mountain Boulevard as there will be no access to the school yard from the upper parking lot. We are also working on alternative drop-off ideas (through Montclair Park) for families living on the Moraga side of the school, but more parent volunteers will be needed. Principal Bloom is open to good ideas.
How will the project impact the school day?
PE none anticipated. There will still be space on campus for PE
Lunch moves to auditorium. Rainy days may require more flexibility.
Recess playing and supervision will shift to the north end of the campus. Recess may need to be split – that issue has not been resolved yet.
Other School day impacts none anticipated.
How will the project impact before-, and after-school programs?
Impact on Adventure Time moves to Auditorium permanently.
Impact on Language League – potential space issues with loss of stage auditorium space.
Impact on afterschool enrichment programs this has the biggest impact due to the loss of the auditorium during construction while AT uses that space. Alternatives will need to be explored.
What other impacts will the project have during school years 2011-12 and 2012-13? As more impacts arise the Principal and OUSD Capital Facilities stand ready to address them! The parent-led construction committee is also here to help address any impacts and monitor the construction progress.
Questions? Email email@example.com .