North School is about to get a makeover, with work on the campus upgrade expected to begin within the next couple of weeks and continue for two years.
The Tracy Unified School District Board of Education, at its April 28 meeting, approved a lease-leaseback agreement with Landmark Construction of Rocklin. Jaime Quintana, the district’s director of facilities and planning, said the contract is for $22 million and will include a new two-story building to replace a cluster of five old buildings, plus modernization of the school’s administration building.
The result will be a new look for the campus. When complete, the new 25,000-square-foot, two-story classroom building, which will house the administrative offices and have a 3,855-square-foot library attached at the south end, will dominate the southwest corner of Holly Drive and Kavanagh Avenue.
All the other buildings will get at least a new coat of paint and modern fire protection systems, and the biggest existing building will get the most comprehensive upgrade to become a 14,400-square-foot modern classroom building.
Casey Goodall, TUSD’s associate superintendent of business services, said the plan was to start demolition and construction at the end of the school year, but with on-campus instruction canceled during the COVID-19 quarantine, the timeline for construction can begin a few weeks earlier.
Goodall added that the budget for the project comes from Measure B, an $82 million bond measure approved by Tracy voters in June 2014. Money from that bond also paid for modernization of South/West Park Elementary School, Central School and the Tracy Learning Center.
“This is the last big project, though there will be money left over to address some of the other projects at the newer schools that were included in the bond language,” Goodall said, adding that North was the last of the district’s oldest schools that had been in need of reconstruction or renovation.
While construction will be ongoing for the next two years, Goodall said some students will return to the campus in the fall to attend classes in the buildings that will remain at the northwest corner of campus while construction continues nearby.
The district has projected for North School to have 792 students attending in the fall. The youngest, 430 kids from kindergarten to fifth grade, will take the bus each day to attend classes at the former Institute for Global Commerce and Government building just north of the TUSD offices on Corral Hollow Road. The other 362 students in sixth through eighth grades will stay at North School for the duration of the project.