MERCED — Weaver Middle School has been around for a long time, about 66 years, and needs a face-lift.
As part of the Weaver Union School District modernization program, the East Childs Avenue school on the outskirts of Merced, built about 1947, is going to lose its aging portables and gain 12 new classrooms.
Architect Paul Bunton of San Jose recently was hired to design elements of the Weaver modernization program. He said his office is working on some concepts that will make an architectural statement for the middle school at East Childs Avenue and Coffee Street.
"By replacing the existing portable classrooms with permanent buildings," Bunton said, "I think we can design a very interesting 'front' to the school that addresses the intersection of these streets and provides a more welcoming entrance to the school."
John Curry, Weaver superintendent, said he's excited about the $11 million project that combines state grant money and Measure G bond funds.
"The Weaver community deserves that," Curry said. "The middle school is the flagship school of the district, and we want to give it a good look."
Bunton said architects are evaluating changing the traffic circulation patterns around the school to simplify and adapt to the changing number of parents picking up and dropping off students.
Curry said that at least a dozen portables will be removed. Some might be moved to other district campuses to be used with other programs and some might be used for storage. Some portables could be donated to other organizations or ultimately demolished.
Modernization of other buildings on the Weaver Middle School campus likely will be simple because of limited funds, namely paint, carpeting, heating and cooling, Bunton said.
Curry said a facade similar to the entrance to nearby Golden Valley High School would be something the community would be proud of and would increase the curb appeal of the Weaver campus.
Infrastructure upgrades, particularly those to accommodate modern technology, also are in the works, Curry said.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.