PRJUSD hears parents' concerns about temporary campus

Photo by Brian Williams

Update and tour of campus took place on Tuesday

PASO ROBLES — The first days of the temporary campus next to Flamson Middle School were a “disappointment” according to parents and Paso Robles schools’ new leader.

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District put 32 relocatable classrooms on the north side of Flamson Middle School on Spring Street near the Boys and Girls Club. The portables will be home for the Bauer Speck students and teachers while work on their campuses begins later this school year and is anticipated to be done in the next 12-24 months.

The classrooms were in place for the start of school in mid-August but nearly all of the outside projects were not completed. In the weeks following, the temporary campus has come a long way.

The district held an informational meeting that included question-and-answer and a tour of the temporary campus on Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“The teachers are the best,” the father of a student said. “It is why we are here. It is why we came to this campus. You have been very receptive. I was one of those parents who called you. As a parent in this meeting, you have to know this is an embarrassment. This is unacceptable.”

He was one of 10-15 parents or guardians not employed by the district at the meeting.

He added, “This is a comment that I think a lot of parents share. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of people here today. I wish there was more to express our disappointment. I know you are doing the best you can, but as a parent, this was a very, very terrible decision. I’m just giving you my honest opinion and I think you need to hear it.”

New PRJUSD Superintendent Curt Dubost said he was not happy when he visited the school site when it opened, but also said bringing the kids over at the start of the school year instead of mid-year was the right decision. He just wished the temporary campus had the lush lawn, outside play area and fencing that visitors saw on Tuesday.

“To state the obvious we all wish it had looked like it does now on the first day of school,” Dubost said. “It didn’t. We had to make the call. I still think it was the right one to go ahead and start because it would have created more problems then it would have solved to delay, in my humble opinion.”

Dubost recounted what he saw that first day.

“...I think the low point for me was when they were still putting together a handicap ramp and a nailgun was going off,” Dubost said. “If I had been a parent coming on I would have said ‘What are you guys thinking?’”

Brad Pawlowski, PRJUSD Chief Business Officer, went over the running timeline for the temporary campus and noted that the TK play structure and preschool turf were scheduled to be completed by week’s end.

He also addressed why bring the students over now if construction on what is to become the Marie Bauer Preschool is not going to begin until November to December with work on the Arts Academy at Bauer Speck to begin later. The district felt that making the change mid-year would have been more disruptive than doing it now.

The preschool is expected to be ready for the start of the 2020-21 school year and the Arts Academy would open the following school year.

When the Arts Academy is ready, students from Georgia Brown will move into the temporary campus and be there for two years during construction on their campus.

New Bauer Speck Principal Shanna Ray led the parents on a tour of the rectangular campus with upper and lower levels that run from Spring Street back in front of the Boys and Girls Club to Lions Field. Bauer Speck uses the Boys and Girls Club during parts of the day as well as Lions Field.

Work on a main play structure and play area just before Lions Field is expected to be completed in October. A restroom for the upper level is also scheduled to be completed in January of 2020.

A 10-classroom structure is also underway at Flamson Middle School and is expected to be ready in February to March of 2020.

For more information on any of these projects or open jobs, visit PRJUSD online at www.pasoschools.org.

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