District looking into modernization of Georgia Brown Elementary School campus 

PASO ROBLES — Trustees received an update on the Georgia Brown Elementary School campus project on 36th Street during the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

At the end of August, the district’s design team, geotechnical consultant, and staff met with California Geological Survey (CGS). Per direction from trustees at a previous board meeting, staff requested from CGS in writing what action the district needs to take to complete the investigation of a seismic anomaly.

In May, a geohazard study result revealed a potential danger lurking beneath Georgia Brown Elementary School in Paso Robles. From the results of the study, it was confirmed that an “anomalous feature” exists directly under the current campus. This is prompted a pause to any construction on the site due to complications with receiving approvals from the Department of the State Architect (DSA).

CGS provided a letter to the district stating further investigation is required, and trenching would be needed to complete the investigation of the anomaly. CGS also suggested additional trenching take place as close as possible to the proposed buildings while understanding there are limitations due to existing structures. However, due to site limitations (existing buildings, existing utilities, depth of trenching required), the district said they cannot agree on a location that will be acceptable to CGS. 

The district discussed the possibility of relocating new buildings but CGS stated that any additional buildings that will be constructed on-site will require additional investigation to determine if the seismic anomaly is an active fault. It was confirmed, though, that the district can make changes to a building as long as it does not change the weight of the building, such as replacing a roof.

While this was not an action item on the agenda but rather a discussion item, trustees directed staff to look at the feasibility of modernizing the campus within their scope of capability and without DSA-approved construction. Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Brad Pawlowski said he felt staff could have something back to trustees by the next PRJUSD board meeting.

Another update was provided on progress made on the Aquatics Complex. Pawlowski provided a roadmap showing the timeline for the project. The district has currently entered the second phase of the complex, which includes approval from DSA on architect plans. Unfortunately, there is no date available for breaking ground, but once it does, construction should take about 12 months to complete.

Trustee Kenney Enney had questions regarding funds being used to pay for the Aquatics Complex and its budget.

“I want to make sure that we are allocating money to do all the projects at the small schools before we throw all our money into the Aquatics Complex,” said Enney, who added that with inflation, costs for all of these projects will continue to rise. 

Discussion on the Measure M budget was requested to be added to a future meeting.

The next PRJUSD meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m.