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Millions in contract dollars awarded to fix up San Diego schools

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Construction is moving forward and projects continue to be awarded on Proposition S work at the San Diego Unified School District.

The latest contracts to be awarded came from the Board of Education meeting on July 24.

The first was a $1.16 million agreement with Straight Line General Contractors Inc. for the construction of a one-story facility comprising public restrooms, a concession area and tickets area. The project will also include site work for utilities, hardscape and landscape, and irrigation improvements.

A $146,000 contract was also awarded at the July 24 meeting. This project consists of converting the former auto shop area at Madison High School into a weight room.

Besides construction, money from Proposition S is also used to purchase supplies and materials for faculty and students.

Logical Choice Technologies Inc. received an $18.34 million contract for the purchase of Promethean interactive whiteboards for classrooms, and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) received a $20 million contract to continue providing products and services for classrooms and administrative offices.

In November 2008, voters passed Proposition S, which stated that San Diego city taxpayers would pay a tax until 2044. It would pay for $2.1 billion in construction bonds to repair and build new facilities at all of the San Diego Unified School District campuses and pay for school supplies and materials for faculty and students.

There have been 15 projects awarded so far in 2012 totaling $73.25 million. Of the 15 projects, the three largest each total more than $10 million.

The largest construction contract awarded so far this year is a $17.58 million project at Knox Middle School awarded to Suffolk-Roel Construction. Work consists of a whole campus site modernization and middle school conversion, including constructing a new two-story classroom building at the lower field, installing campus-wide air conditioning, and building physical education facilities and other improvements to support middle school curriculum.

Key features include new science classrooms, a 200-meter asphalt running track, and upgrading food service facilities and new paths of travel to meet Americans with Disabilities Act code requirements.

The second largest project awarded this year is for the Creative Performing Media Arts School at the Kroc Center. The $11.91 million project will encompass a new performing arts center building measuring approximately 20,600 square feet on the east side of the campus. The building will feature a 400-seat theater, two music classrooms, a scene shop, a green room, a control room and ticket booths, support and storage spaces, and restrooms. Triton Structural Steel is the contractor assigned to the project.

The third largest construction contract won this year has been for the new classroom building at the Language Academy.

The project involves replacing 16 portable classrooms with a new 24,761-square-foot building with 14 classrooms, including six kindergarten rooms, one elementary classroom on the first floor, and seven classrooms for grades three through five on the second floor.

This project also entails adding a second-level, 4,112-square-foot addition to an existing building. This new space will house a music classroom and a science classroom. The building’s design provides for sustainable learning and teaching environments by utilizing natural daylight and natural ventilation in all classrooms.

Some architectural features include a balcony and walkway designed with different geometric shapes and color panels with a screen wall system, creating a layering effect with light. The building's design also accommodates the future installation of a photovoltaic system.

There are still 14 more projects slated for bidding later this year. All but one has been approved by the California Division of the State Architect, the agency that provides oversight and approves designs for construction projects for K-12 schools and community colleges in California.

Another 98 projects are still on the agenda for Proposition S by 2017, and 35 have already been completed. So far $401 million of the $2.1 billion Proposition S bond money has been spent.

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