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District awaits new buildings



Published: Fri, May 18, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



A concrete section from the current high school will become an archway at the new school.

By PAUL WHEATLEY

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

CAMPBELL -- Beverly Bonilla, president of Reed Middle School's Parent Teacher Organization, has two pupils with unique ties to Campbell's present and future schools.

Her 11th-grade son, Erik, will likely be among the last seniors to attend Memorial High School if the new high school opens on schedule in December 2002. Her fifth-grade son, Eligio, will start sixth grade in a new K-8 building scheduled for completion June 22, 2002.

Bonilla said she doesn't hear pupils talking about the new schools yet, but all that could change once the foundation is set and walls start going up.

Ground broken: School and city officials broke ground on 40 acres in the northeast corner of town, near state Route 616, for the K-8 building April 23. Now dirt is being moved there to grade the land.

Work could start on the new high school, which will be just north of the field house, in early June.

Bonilla said new schools will give students a good moral boost.

"All the schools are getting old," she said. "It's time for a change."

The high school, built in 1925, is the district's newest building, followed by Penhale Elementary School, built in 1919, and Reed Middle School, built in 1918.

Bonilla said the new K-8 building will house a PTO room -- a luxury the organization doesn't have right now.

The facility will also feature three baseball fields, an equal number of soccer fields and a combination auditorium and cafeteria.

At high school: The new high school will house board of education offices, science and computer labs and offer at least five computers per classroom.

Superintendent James Ciccolelli said both schools will be protected by a sophisticated security system with cameras in every entrance, hallway and cafeteria.

"The only places there will not be cameras is classrooms and restroom facilities," he said.

School administrators will also have the ability to electronically lock doors from the office.

Only the football stadium and field house will be spared the wrecking ball.

The field house will receive a $4 million renovation after construction of the high school is complete, Ciccolelli said.

However, the state does not provide funds for athletic-only facilities, so officials will look at securing outside financing to renovate the stadium, he said.

Part of the old: The current high school will be replaced by a parking lot, but not all will be lost. Plans call for a concrete block bearing the high school's name to be used in an archway at the new school.

"You're going to walk under the old into the new, so to speak," Ciccolelli said.

Bonilla's son Erik said he's excited about the prospect of a new school, even if he might use it only half a semester.

"It's like we're the last class and we're almost making history to graduate from the old school," Erik said.




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