A hefty donation will help give the aging athletic field at Foothill High School a much-needed makeover.
The Pleasanton school board unanimously agreed Tuesday night to accept $513,965 from the Foothill High School Athletic Boosters. The contribution was raised over the past year especially for the project and will cover more than half of the nearly million-dollar construction price-tag.
District officials report that “the stadium field at Foothill High School has exceeded its expected lifetime and is in poor condition.” Despite making repairs to sections over the years, the field has drainage issues and the surface needs replacement, according to staff.
Mark Priscaro, father of two student-athletes at Foothill, urged the board during public comment to approve the contract. “If you’ve walked on the turf recently, you know it’s in dire need of replacement,” Priscaro said.
Trustee Mark Miller also agreed with greenlighting the project and called the field’s current condition “a safety issue.”
Replacing the synthetic turf will cost an estimated $986,464, including $350,000 from the deferred maintenance budget. “We would love to have had all of this work done paid out of the (Measure I1) bond ... but there are more items competing than there are dollars,” Trustee Joan Laursen said during a brief discussion before the vote Tuesday. “We couldn’t have done it without the Booster contributions so we are really grateful.”
Micaela Ochoa, deputy superintendent of business services, also added that “we’re very excited and we’re very thankful for that donation from the Boosters.”
Work on the field is scheduled to begin in early June and finish before the 2019-20 school year.
In other business
* The parent of an Amador Valley High School student addressed the board during public comment about the departure of Amador principal Alberto Solorzano, whose request to resign was granted during the board meeting.
Solorzano’s resignation is effective June 30, according to district personnel documents, and comes about a month after he was granted a leave of absence for personal reasons -- less than seven months into his first year at Amador. His absence since Feb. 20 for unspecified reasons has left many parents and students confused.
Katlyn Haus said that Solorzano’s resignation has had a “lack of transparency” and that “from what I know of my interactions with him, he hoped to make an impact” at Amador.
“If Mr. Solorzano’s resignation is accepted, I would ask that in choosing this next leader for our community, that we form a community committee to assist in choosing who becomes our next principal,” Haus said.
Vice principal Nimarta Grewal was promoted earlier this month to serve as interim principal in Solorzano’s place; she is the fourth principal at Amador since the 2015-16 school year.
Pleasanton Middle School principal Jill Butler also recently informed district leaders of her intent to step aside, by retiring after the school year after leading there since 2015. District officials said the search to find replacements for both roles will commence in the near future.
* An agreement with Dublin Unified School District for occupational therapy services in PUSD schools was unanimously approved on Tuesday. The two districts have made the same arrangement in the past to “provide services of occupational therapy by DUSD employees to PUSD students with exceptional needs.”
Three full-time occupational therapists will work with special education students at various PUSD schools for the 2019-20 school year. They will still be employed by DUSD, which will invoice the district for their services each month. The special education pass-through fund will cover the $410,112 contract.
The board also approved a similar contract for $3,000 with PUSD and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. The district plans to hire on their own occupation therapists by the 2020-21 school year, according to Ochoa, but they “just need some transition time to get there.”
* Several inspection contracts were also approved; school districts are required by the state to hire an inspector of record during a building project to ensure compliance.
The board unanimously awarded a $268,950 contract to United Inspection, Inc. for services on the planned Lydiksen Elementary School rebuild, which will be covered by Measure I1 funds.
Another $56,335 contract with Kory Gilbert Inspection for services related to the rebuild of the fire-damaged library at Harvest Park Middle School was also confirmed. The district’s insurance will pay for the inspection services at Harvest Park.
* The board honored the district’s Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year at the beginning of the open meeting.
Theresa Gonsalves won the Teacher of the Year for her work teaching eighth-grade science at Harvest Park Middle School.
Administrative secretary Nancy Rae capped off a 32-year career at Valley View Elementary School with the Classified Employee of the Year award. “Going out with this award is so amazing,” Rae told the board.