Mud is nothing new to Prescott Senior Elementary School.
Home to the annual "Mud Run," in which participants first take a dip in a muddy trench, the Modesto campus could be a bit of a mess for another reason when students return Aug. 17.
The school is undergoing an extensive modernization project. There aredirt mounds and waving survey flags where cars once parked and students once strode to class.
The old portable classrooms were too decrepit to move, so six to eight new classrooms are coming, said Rebecca Campbell, project manager at the site. The portables will be ready and a new parking lot and sidewalks will be in place by the end of summer, Campbell said Tuesday.
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The $16 million project — $1 million less than estimated — is being paid for by Measure T bonds and is scheduled to finish in October 2011, according to the most recent Stanislaus Union report to the school board.
"The costs are less because of the need for work, so in some ways it's good timing," Stanislaus Union School District Trustee John Gunderson said Tuesday. He said there was no increase in enrollment expected, and no classrooms were being added.
Foundations are being poured for portables in a new "learning communities" plan, according to the project description. The parking lot is being reconfigured, adding a new approach to West Rumble Road. Students will get a shady quad area behind the old classroom building in front of new basketball courts.
Once school starts, the work will move inside, Campbell said. Physical education lockers will be replaced and a bathroom and shower area added. The library will get a technology make-over. Science classrooms and computer labs in the main building are planned.
Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2339.