Trinidad School upgrade gets delayed until 2014

A $2.2 million upgrade of the Trinidad School campus has been delayed for a year due to slow approval of the project by the Division of the State Architect.

The California agency is charged with reviewing and approving construction plans for schools throughout the state. Trinidad submitted its campus project to the agency in February. However, there was a delay in its approval.

Trinidad Superintendent Geoff Proust said that if the school were to move ahead with the entire project right now, it would still need to go through the lengthy legal process of obtaining bids. This would jam all the construction work into the latter part of summer, creating the potential for contractors to have to rush to get the job done before the start of school. That could significantly increase cost.

As a result, Trinidad School decided to delay a good portion of the work until the summer of 2014, with some exceptions.

Proust said the district hopes to upgrade a fire hydrant, repair some structural safety issues in its gym and build a proper firewall on a building this summer.

The district would then go out to bid in December or January for the larger project. The hope is that by putting the bids out early, the district may save money and be able stretch taxpayers’ dollars even more.

Residents within the Trinidad Union School District voted overwhelmingly for the $2.2 million school bond in June 2012, with 81.5 percent of voters supporting the measure. Property owners pay $30 per $100,000 of assessed value.

The money will be used to upgrade the school’s plumbing and electrical systems, improve roofs and windows to prevent leaks, repair a large crack in the gym floor and much more.

Proust said the wastewater and water lines will be replaced. Bathrooms will be renovated and made accessible to the disabled.

Classrooms will be renovated and new cabinetry installed to make the storage of classroom supplies safer for students in the event of an earthquake.

The modular building that houses the after-school program will be replaced with a larger facility to serve more children.

Lead paint and asbestos will be removed from the school. There will also be upgrades to the school’s electrical system and its computer technology.

“Putting it off for a year is disappointing,” Proust said. But, he added, doing so could save the district tens of thousands of dollars.