Students of Murray Elementary School in Dublin started the 2022 academic year with updated campus facilities and classrooms -- and this is only the first wave of renovations the school is expecting.
The Murray revitalization project seeks to improve administrative operations, campus facilities and educational environments with three phases of construction projects. Additions from the recent constructions, completed in August, include newly built classrooms, improved campus-wide ventilation and administrative offices.
The recent building updates are part of Phase 1 of the bond-funded project. Phase 2 is set for completion in May 2024 and will add to the campus a new office, multipurpose room and school kitchen. Phase 3 projections are still to be announced by the district.
Chip Dehnert, public information and community relations officer for Dublin Unified School District, has worked closely with the project.
"New school facilities were created on the fields at the current site, and in a future phase, the older buildings will be removed," Dehnert said. "Now that Phase 1 is complete, the Murray community has world-class, modern elementary school classrooms on par with any new elementary school in the Tri-Valley."
All phases of the project are estimated to cost $57.5 million. The additions are funded by Measure H, a $283 million bond that DUSD voters passed in 2016 to help local school facilities address overcrowding or aged amenities. Other schools in the district will also benefit from the measure and see additional construction updates, including Emerald High School and Frederiksen Elementary.
"As these sites are modernized, the impact is significant. Our staff, who worked for years in an aging facility feel the appreciation associated with being invested in," Dehnert said. "They are now teaching in modern classrooms designed for 21st Century education. A happier staff teaching in modern classrooms will deliver a higher quality of education to our students."
According to Dehnert, Murray Elementary began the new school year with over 47,000 square feet of new additions. These include 32 classrooms for K-5 students and staff, four offices (counselor, psychologist, English language development, speech therapy), five staff workrooms and several new bathrooms.
The classrooms constructed in Phase 1 feature updated lighting and window shades, high-efficiency all-electric heat pump HVAC units with energy management system ventilation controls, and daylight harvesting windows.
Dehnert noted the many benefits that new school construction plans can have on an area that go beyond the specific campus.
"From a community perspective, the benefits of having a brand-new school include improved pride in one's community, confidence in the facilities local children will attend, and improved property values," he told the Weekly. "From a recruiting standpoint, in a challenging era to attract teachers, modern classrooms are also an advantage."
To see updates on the project's construction, visit Dublin.k12.ca.