Fresno Unified Gets a Facelift

KFSN Board by board, Ahwahnee Middle School is being re-built. For the first time since it opened in 1964, the district is renovating every room from floor to ceiling. Old, dark classrooms are being replaced with brighter, better places to learn.

Ahwahnee Middle School Principal Lisa Deleon said, "In some of the buildings the wall were too thin, and the noise level the teacher and kids could hear each other in the different rooms."

Ahwahnee is one of 40 Fresno Unified schools on the list for major renovations. So far, the district has spent more than $250-million dollars in state and local taxpayer's money. Funding that comes from Measure K, the school bond issue approved by Fresno voters in 2001.

One of the biggest challenges the district faces is replacing outdated wiring with new systems, adding outlets and computer plug-ins, bring classrooms into the 21st century. Along with adding air conditioning to Fresno High's Royce Hall and 25 elementary campuses, the District is adding new buildings.

Beginning next week, this $27-million dollar nutrition center will cook up some 80-thousand meals a day.

Lisa Leblanc, who manages all of Fresno Unified's facilities, is now working on the District's first ever master plan for the future as the school board wrestles with declining enrollment. "It really is not just the facilities. It looks at what do the educational programs look like for the next 10 years" said Leblanc.

By next fall, the District hopes to have community input on how to move forward.

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