Fresno Unified School District gets a facelift

FRESNO, Calif.

$280 million in Measure Q bond money has allowed the district to begin work on its first phase to improve every school in the district.

Pounding hammers and shoveling dirt. Construction crews at Roosevelt High are hard at work - replacing dozens of deteriorating portable classrooms with a more permanent fix. A new single story, 12 classroom building to better accommodate its students.

"There will be earth science classrooms, and physics classrooms with solar panels on the roof they can incorporate into their curriculum," said Karin Temple. "There's classrooms designed for special needs students, there's collaborative teaching spaces and there's a store for the business academy, students who are on a career pathway that use digital arts to design t-shirts and they'll have a place to sell their products."

There are many projects happening throughout the district, Roosevelt High is just one of them.

Temple said, "This first phase of our Measure Q projects will replace about 130 portables so we're making a very big dent early on."

Leveraging local funds with state funds - school officials are taking advantage of low construction costs in a poor economy -- to add 40 thousand square feet in new classrooms. As well as a new library, lecture hall, and career center at Fresno High.

"They were eligible for state funding under the overcrowding relief program," said Temple. "So we've applied for about $30 million in state funds and we can only do that because we have Measure Q as a local match."

A local match approved by voters in November 2010 to allow the district to invest in Fresno's future.

The district now plans to use that money to add a third story onto a now two-story structure at McLane High -- renovating the baseball and softball fields at Hoover High. As well as making millions of dollars in upgrades to elementary and middle schools in the district.

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