Weaver Middle School’s construction saga about to begin

07/24/2014 6:55 PM

07/24/2014 6:56 PM

Right now it’s a waiting game but in about two years Weaver Middle School should look dramatically different than it does now, thanks to an ambitious construction program that is about to begin this summer.

By the end of this month the district on the outskirts of Merced is expected to submit blueprints and other construction documents to the Division of the State Architect in Sacramento for approval, according to Weaver Union School District Superintendent John Curry.

It could take anywhere from three months to six months for the DSA to approve the plans for new buildings near Coffee Road and Childs Avenue. The project is expected to cost about $10 million. After designs are approved, the district will apply for hardship funding from the state Department of Education.

“Now is a quiet time,” Curry said. “We’re still in the planning phase right now. I will be happy when it’s done.”

A new school office and 12 new classrooms will face the Coffee-Childs intersection at an angle, reminiscent of the design of Golden Valley High School a bit north of Weaver on East Childs Avenue at Parsons Avenue.

Curry said the state will charge the district $53,000 to review the construction plans. He hopes construction can start in summer 2015 and be completed about 18 months later. Some of the buildings date back to the late 1940s.

Twelve new classrooms will be built along with the new middle school office. Parking and student pickup facilities also will be significantly upgraded.

Mark Mendez, the district’s director of maintenance and operations, has been involved in planning the new buildings along with San Jose-based architect Paul Bunton. In November 2012, Weaver voters approved the $9 million Measure G bond that will partially fund construction projects.

“This will give students a breath of fresh air,” Mendez said. “We will be able to bring graduation back to Weaver from Farmdale School. We’re moving into the future and this is part of that vision. It’s a good setup.”

Mendez said district trustees have taken considerable pride in how the new campus will look. They want to produce something that will stand out. The new entrance will be a gateway for the community to come on campus.

Weaver Middle School Principal Mike Weber said there will be a new front for the school.

“It will be really exciting for parents and students,” Weber said. “We have an old, tired facility and it will be new, fresh and nice. It’s something for the Weaver district to be proud of.”

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