Crews improving Merced school facilities in time for new school year

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From new walkways, to new pick up and drop zones for students and newly remodeled classrooms, school leaders said things will ready in time for the first day of school. (KFSN)

All summer long, construction crews have been working on a number of projects in the Merced City School District.

Officials with the district say the summer break was the perfect time to make improvements on campus because they didn't want the noisy and heavy equipment to be a distraction to students.

Just days after the last of school for MCSD construction began on modernization and improvement projects at Burbank Elementary, Chenoweth Elementary and Hoover Middle School.

From new walkways to new pick up and drop zones for students and newly remodeled classrooms, school leaders said things will ready in time for the first day of school.

"We will be open for business the kids will have safe access to the school," Director of Facilities Ken Testa said. "Of course, we will have some pieces of the puzzle still coming together."

Several classrooms at Hoover Middle School have new carpet, new lighting and the walls were stripped down to the framing to allow for a fresh start for the school that's nearly 50 years old.

"New tack boards on the walls that will allow them to have learning environments throughout the classroom," principal Julie Rivard said. "Whiteboards throughout the classroom, so just a much better learning environment for our students and our teachers."

Restrooms for students have been fully renovated and the school's 30-year-old air conditioning system was also replaced.

"A lot of the time our air would go out and when it is a 105 degrees out and the air goes out it," Rivard said. "It is very hard for kids to concentrate on learning. So now we have controllable air in the classroom."

Over at Burbank and Chenoweth schools, parents will notice the new drop off and pick up zones while students will notice new playgrounds.

There will also be new surveillance cameras and outdoor lighting to keep teachers and students safe on each campus.

All of these projects are funded by Measure M. The $60 million project was approved by voters back in 20-14.

"The state bonds they do help us but without the local voter support there's really no way we could build the facilities that our kids deserve and our kids need to get a quality education," Testa said.
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