On June 3 crews began work on the $10 million project, which is expected to be completed in summer 2010. The old gymnasium at the high school was shut down in February 2008 when reports claimed the structure was in danger of a catastrophic collapse in the event of a significant earthquake.
At their June 24 meeting, members of the State Allocation Board approved more than $3.6 million for the work, making it the first project to receive approval for this funding. The source of the funds is Proposition 1D, approved by the voters in November 2006. It authorized up to $199.5 million for seismic repair and replacement of qualified school facilities.
Margaret Brown, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, said the funding is exciting news.
"This state money will significantly reduce the contribution of our local bond funds to the San Ramon Valley gym," she said. She noted that the district would've had to fund the project 100 percent with those local bond funds.
"This means that as we evaluate the highest priority capital projects remaining on the Measure A project list, we have $3.6 million more falling to the bottom line," she enthused.
Getting approval for the Measure 1D funds requires specialized structural reports with numerous state agencies conducting site investigations. The groups must concur that the project qualifies for the seismic funds.
Officials said the funds will not actually be released until after the Pooled Money Investment Board lifts the freeze on disbursements, due to the state budget situation.
The old gym, which was built in the late 1950s, was demolished last summer. Since then the sports teams have played home games at Dougherty Valley High School.
The new gym is being built on the site of the "small gym," built in 1939, which was torn down last month.