Creig P. Sherburne/Atascadero News •
The entire front of Templeton Middle School is in the middle of a facelift to make it more inviting, more attractive and make more sense to visitors.
TEMPLETON — Templeton Unified School District is hip-deep in a modernization project at Templeton Middle School right now.
The $2.1 million project is scheduled to be complete by Aug. 17, Director of School Support Services Andrew Cherry said.
The architect is Alan Kroeker for PMSM Architects in San Luis Obispo. Kroeker is also the architect for the Monterey Road Elementary School modernization in Atascadero.
He said the primary goal of the modernization is “to create a sense of identity with the middle school.”
The middle school, he said, was Templeton High School until 1977; that’s why it’s got the big gym. And so what is now the front of the middle school used to be the back. All the changes were evolutionary, and there was never really an opportunity to make and execute a plan. This project changes all that.
“You just had this sea of asphalt [out front],” he said. “It was an unwelcoming space. You had no idea where the office was.”
The inside of the buildings are being redesigned as well, he said, putting the office right out front where visitors expect it to be.
And while they’re at it, many of the buildings, including classrooms, are getting quite the facelift as well.
“The F building, the main building of the middle school, is getting completely remodeled,” Cherry said. “It’s being stripped down to wood and then put back together.”
That building is getting a lot of attention because it was built in the late 1950s and the roof leaked. When it’s finished, it will have a new roof, new insulation, a new floor and all new wallcoverings.
The next part, Cherry said, is the H building. Previously used for science and home economics, when finished, it will be home to two modern and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant science classrooms.
Third, the gym will get a bit of a remodel with new lighting, a wood floor and the interior walls painted.
“Everyone in town that plays sports is stoked to hear [about] that,” Cherry said.
Almost every student restroom at Templeton Elementary School will be updated to be ADA compliant and, lastly, Templeton Elementary School’s exterior is being repainted. Before school let out, the elementary school was painted a sort of beige and orange-red two-tone.
With the new paint job, the walls are an off-white leaning toward green with seafoam green trim. It looks clean and crisp.
The project’s funding, Director of Business Services Aaron Asplund said, is a 60/40 split with the state. That is, the state of California is paying for 60 percent of the upgrades and the district is taking care of the remaining 40 percent. And a $400,000 chunk of TUSD’s budget was donated by Neil Willhoit’s estate after he passed away.
Dick Willhoit is the president and CEO of Estrella, Inc., a construction company based in Paso Robles. He said that his father and uncle, including Neil, went through Templeton schools. And now Templeton students will go through a gym with Neil’s name on it.
“Obviously, Templeton found a place in his heart,” Dick Willhoit said.
The donation, Asplund said, was made some five years ago. But the way the 60/40 split works, schools have to get in line to get the funding. So the plans the school is enacting now were also made some five years ago, so the school could get in queue for state funding.
When that funding became available, the plans were dusted off and the school got torn apart.
Atascadero-based RSH Construction is performing all of the upgrades.
Cherry said that to date there have been no unexpected troubles or surprises.
“We weren’t sure if the roof in the F wing was going to have dry rot, but we knew it was a possibility,” he said.
It did have dry rot, but because it was expected, it was no big deal.
“Everything has been pretty straightforward,” Cherry continued. “We’ve been really happy with how it’s going. We’re on time and, by my definition on budget. I think it’s doing all right.”For the complete article see the 06-22-2012 issue.
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