Discussion continues for future of the campus

PASO ROBLES — A heavy discussion was held on Tuesday night as the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District met to discuss an update from the District Advisory Committee (DAC) on the Georgia Brown (36th Street) Campus. The meeting held on Tuesday, Jan. 9 heard the update at the start of the meeting following closed session. 

The DAC was constructed to help trustees develop a plan for the Georgia Brown Campus, which is currently in a damaged condition. Part of the update included an updated structural engineering review of the campus from Miyamoto International, a company focusing on structural building management.

The report identified structural issues in five buildings and multiple rooms within relocatable buildings. The affected structures include Building 300, used for administrative and multipurpose activities, with damage such as cracks in the walkway canopy, roof rippling, and chipping of exterior wall cladding. Building 400, primarily for classrooms, exhibited issues like detached fascia, ceiling panel staining from water, and cracks in soffit cladding. Building 500, also designated for classrooms, showed damage including cracks in various components, rotting of walkway canopy planks, and ceiling panel staining.

Building 600, another classroom facility, displayed a range of issues such as cracks in the canopy end beam and exterior wall cladding, detached fascia board, missing connection angle, water damage, rotting in the walkway canopy, and ongoing ceiling panel leaks despite past repairs. Building 700, also for classrooms, revealed problems like a partially detached fascia board, rotting on the trim board, cracks in a repaired walkway canopy beam, and exposed, partially sealed walkway canopy beams.

The relocatable buildings, designed for classrooms, featured wood-framed walkway canopies with steel frames and plywood sheathed walls. Six rooms within these structures exhibited damages such as cracks in canopy framing, water stains, rusting on exterior wall cladding and gutter, damage to window trim, and rusting on gutters. Additionally, ceilings in these rooms showed signs of water staining. 

The report stated what sparked some concerns among trustees: “In our review of these buildings, we have not observed any immediate life safety hazards or conditions likely to develop into life safety hazards by the end of the current school year. The objective of the recommendations below is to mitigate conditions that eventually could develop into life safety hazards.”

Trustee Kenney Enney was one who was concerned, asking more than once during the meeting that if the campus will not be safe later this year, then what makes it safe for students and staff now? Enney also had concerns that further, more in-depth inspections needed to be done.

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Brad Pawlowski addressed the board.  

“There is no definitive statement in the report that says the site is not safe at a certain point … but as we can see there are conditions that are deteriorating at that site and I agree with Mr. Enney that some of those have not been addressed over time,” he said. “But knowing all the way back since 2016 that Georgia Brown was going to be the third campus remodeled, we have collectively as a district, as a board, made decisions to not address some of those infrastructure type items knowing we were going to get to the point of replacement so things have compounded.”

Pawlowski noted that the geological anomaly found underneath the campus has essentially thrown a wrench into all the plans for the campus. 

“If you are looking for my recommendation, if you are going to keep the site, dig the trench,” said Pawlowski. “Determine what’s there because if we don’t do that, we are going to continue to band-aid the site because we are going to try to find ways.”

PRJUSD Superintendent Curt Dubost suggested to the board and DAC to bring back options for the campus to to move forward by the next school year in August and if the deadline can be extended, provide further options. 

Trustees agreed and directed DAC to move forward with their meetings on the path suggested by Dubost. 

The next PRJSUD meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m.