Danville Express

Newsfront - June 1, 2007

Schools, Danville to share new gym

Trustees OK joint use agreement with town

by Jordan M. Doronila

Let the games begin.

Trustees and town staff approved a joint use agreement at the school board meeting last week by which both students in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and Danville residents can use the Diablo Vista Middle School gym when it is completed.

The gym - a Measure A project - is located at the Diablo Vista campus, at 4100 Camino Tassajara, and will be a total of 15,000 square feet.

"I think the agreement makes sense," said Trustee Joan Buchanan. "It will be great for the whole community."

The Town of Danville is contributing $500,000 toward the design and construction costs. In return, the town will be able to use the gym without charge after school hours or when no school activities are taking place.

The district will pay all utilities as well as regular ongoing maintenance costs. The district and town will provide day-to-day custodial care, and they will share the costs of major maintenance that is mutually agreed upon.

District officials reserve the right to make changes to the agreement after 30 years. Both the district and town officials can terminate the contract within a year's notice even before the contract reaches 30 years. And the district gets first use rights to the new facility.

"We do believe we should maintain control over that," Buchanan said.

The gym is scheduled to be completed by next school year, said Mike Bush, district assistant superintendent of business services.

"It's just a continued cooperation between the town and school district," Bush said.

The district has a similar joint use agreement with the Town of Danville regarding the Los Cerros Middle School gym and with the city of San Ramon for the Dougherty Valley High School gymnasium.

Buchanan said she is excited about the agreement.

"We serve the same people," Buchanan said. "It serves the interests of all residents."

The district is completing two major projects at Diablo Vista Middle School this year, funded by Measure A: field facilities and the gymnasium.

The 15 acres adjacent to the school were developed into field facilities with natural and artificial turf fields, a track, and ball diamonds. Construction of the field began in 2005 and has recently been completed, said Margaret Brown, assistant superintendent of facilities.

Construction started on the gym in July 2006. It includes basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, retractable bleachers, plus restroom and locker room facilities. It is being constructed next to the Diablo Vista multipurpose room at a cost of $5.1 million.

The gym's joint use agreement was up for approval at the board's meeting May 22, but trustees Joan Buchanan and Greg Marvel withheld their approval because they wanted the agreement to have a specific duration. The school district is now eligible to apply for additional funding from the state because of the joint use agreement.

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