Funds approved for modernization |

Funds approved for modernization

The Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education approved spending more money on the Bijou Community School and South Tahoe Middle School modernization projects.

The board agreed Tuesday to pay about $334,000 more for the middle school project and an estimated $147,500 for unscheduled work at Bijou.

Steve Morales, district facilities director, said the majority of the money is needed for additional structural requirements.

“Basically, the change orders are for additional work and materials related to the structural changes that were added as a result of the Department of State Architect’s changes on the plans,” he said.

The combined cost for both projects, totaling more than $500,000, will be paid out of Measure C funds.

In a May 1999, special election, Measure C, a facilities bond to finance critically needed repairs and renovations at Lake Tahoe Unified schools, was passed by 82.6 percent of the voters.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District received about $17 million in Measure C monies to be used over a period of time for various upgrades and improvements.

District Chief Financial Officer Joe White said about $8.9 million has already been drawn out for recent projects, but the entire sum has not been spent.

South Tahoe Educators Association President Mike Patterson questioned Morales Tuesday, as to whether the change orders would affect the progress of other projects.

“I don’t think anything will fall out,” Morales said. “At this point I don’t anticipate not being able to do everything that was on our list.”

White said the district left plenty of room for alterations and additions in the planning process and the cost of all of the projects combined will not exceed $17 million.

“There were major or minor projects and basically all of the main projects are all going to get done easily,” he said. “We have a lot of flexibility to re-scope things. Right now, we’re figuring we’re going to do all of the projects.”

Modernizations at South Tahoe High School, and Meyers and Sierra House elementary schools are some projects planned for the future, Morales said.

“And we still have the final phase of modernization at the middle school remaining,” he said. “We do not anticipate the change orders affecting the funding of any of those projects.”

Construction on South Tahoe Middle School and Bijou Community School will be completed by Sept. 4, with the exception of a few incomplete classrooms at the middle school.

“But every teacher will have a classroom,” Morales said.

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