Ode To Montclair School Renovations

As you know, Montclair Elementary School is getting an $18 million makeover.  Renovations began this summer, and continue through next year.  Most notably, two painfully-old portable classrooms and the cafeteria have been demolished.  Good riddance!

While the original school footprint is a nice deco-style building, the school campus has seen far better days.  It’s a top-notch school, filled with teachers who educate kids really well.  But the overcrowding is palpable.  When asked to envision and paint Montclair Elementary, one fifth grader simply created a portable classroom.

John Esposito, senior project manager for Oakland Unified School District, has overseen this summer’s activity.  He does have plenty to get done before the school year begins, and here’s the project schedule for this week:

1.      Fencing
2.      Installation of portable landings and ramps
3.      Cleaning and waxing of portable floors
4.      Moving of earth quake container
5.      Testing of new gas line to old portables
6.      Waiting for PG&E’s change out of existing gas meter for old portables – no date as yet from them
7.      Architect/other consultants preparing their punch lists – corrections, items missing
8.      Installing basketball poles

In only two weeks, all Oakland public schoolers head back to school.  Although Montclair Elementary’s a work-in-progress, students will return to an operational campus.  Their new building, which houses ten classrooms and a rec room, gets built next.

And let’s hope that students view their school differently, when the transformed campus emerges (fingers crossed) in 2012.

More info:  Check out the school expansion Q&A, new building, architectural renderings and group updates.

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