District seeks community input for seismic anomaly discovered under campus
PASO ROBLES — A town hall meeting has been scheduled in August to discuss an anomaly discovered under the Georgia Brown Elementary School campus. Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) was required to do a geological soil investigation due to the possibility that a fault line exists, which resulted in a confirmation of a seismic “anomaly” existing directly under the current campus.
While the district has not made a decision to further dig and investigate the anomaly, they are actively seeking bids to identify the cost of the state-required trenching on the site to expose the “anomalous feature” that was identified electronically. A structural engineer examined all the existing buildings on the 36th Street campus and determined there is no immediate danger or need to move to the temporary campus.
At the Tuesday night, June 13, PRJUSD meeting, parents and members of the public packed the room to issue their questions and concerns regarding the unexpected anomaly. A group of parents took to the podium to request the district to demand an immediate pause to digging the trench until all options are considered.
“I do know it will be very expensive to build on that property now. Just to dig the trench to see if there’s a fault line is gonna cost over $300,000 that the district does not have,” said Georgia Brown parent Cori Holzer. “It seems like a waste of money to me.”
Another parent added, “Let us weigh the options on their merits and make tough but well-thought-out decisions together with our heads and our hearts. No further digging, no further spending in regard to reconstruction.”
Superintendent Curt Dubost did clarify that the district has not made the decision to move forward with the trench digging, and a decision will not come until the August meeting.
The potential trench would measure 30 feet deep, 3 feet wide, and 150 feet long. The district has received one bid for $293,000 and is currently in the works of receiving another bid. Regardless, construction would not start until August or September and take over a month to complete. The district is also in works to speak with District 17 State Senator John Laird for advice and additional options with the Department of the State Architect (DSA).
The board later voted to schedule the special meeting for the anomaly discussion on Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. at Paso Robles High School. Parents and the community are encouraged to submit questions and concerts to the district by July 17.