For many residents in the San Ramon Valley, summer is a time for kicking back, relaxing and setting off on vacations to exciting new places, but in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District administrators and staff are hard at work on a litany of projects in anticipation of the upcoming school year.
One such enterprise is the $5.2 million modernization project at Green Valley Elementary School in Danville, which assistant superintendent of facilities and operations Gary Black said will give new life to one of the school district’s oldest campuses.
While not as large in scope or price as the San Ramon Valley High School or Stone Valley Middle School modernization projects, Black said the upgrades being done to the elementary school at 1001 Diablo Road are vital to ensuring its longevity.
“We absolutely go for taking the most beneficial, longest-lasting dollar spent first,” Black told DanvilleSanRamon.com. “And as intuitive as that sounds not everybody gets to do their work that way. Our district and our board certainly (know) that you protect the building envelope first, you make it safe, you make it last, now you make it pretty.”
District officials say the project is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2019-20 school year. Upgrades currently in progress include installing new technology, flooring, painting, window coverings, replacing old doors, casework, significant concrete walkway removal and replacement for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, gating and fencing improvements as well as other various improvements to ensure site safety and security.
One of the project’s most visually noticeable additions is the black iron fencing and gating system that will be placed in strategic choke points throughout the campus, ensuring that school administrators know who wants to enter school grounds.
“It’s a security measure (and) it’s traffic control. We don't want people coming onto the campus that we haven't said 'hello' to,” Black said. “We've been taught and trained over the course of our careers to know that one of the single greatest things you can do is have adult eyes on whoever's coming onto campus.”
The gating system will create a single point of entry in the front office for visitors who want to enter the school during the day, while still maintaining multiple exit locations for students and staff to exit in the case of an emergency situation.
“The perimeter fencing and the core fencing is a project that's been in place for many years, and we've been doing by stages so this is an opportunity to get one of the stages done,” SRVUSD spokesperson Elizabeth Graswich said.
Black added that a security camera will be placed in the front entryway to monitor all people coming and going through the main entrance, in addition to 10-12 security cameras which will be strategically placed throughout the school.
“They’re just useful; it's a great deterrent,” he said. “Since I’ve been here the addition of cameras has made vandalism go down.”
Funded through Measure D, the $260 million school facilities bond passed by district voters in 2012, the Green Valley modernization one of several schools receiving various updates and modernization upgrades over the summer.
“We’re really fortunate that the investments that have been made here in the past 20 years through multiple bonds that really have been about longevity of the facilities,” Black said. “It’s beautiful to me because it is cost conscience and is going to benefit kids for decades.”
Black also added that other modernization efforts that have been undertaken -- some of which were completed during last summer’s construction efforts -- include the school’s new roof, HVAC systems, a completely renovated library and admin office, upgraded classroom audio visual projection systems, upgraded classroom intercom/clock/bell systems, ADA restroom updates, fire/intrusion alarm systems and various electrical system upgrades.