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Improvements Continue At School District Sites

As growth occurs with continued building throughout the 95361, so too, do the improvements at Oakdale Joint Unified School District sites.

During Monday night’s monthly board meeting, Nov. 5, OJUSD Superintendent Marc Malone shared the progress as well as completion of 13 projects to date in the sixth year of the major facility movement. Improvements and projects made possible over the past six years due to collection of developer fees.

“Thirteen really strong facility projects to the tune of $11 million in the last six years that have been done across the district,” Malone shared with the board members and audience at Monday night’s meeting. “I think it’s important for our community to know with that $11 million that is what developer fees are collected for.”

The Oakdale School Farm, central kitchen, library/media centers, as well as school safety improvements are among the list of the 13 items completed to date. The district is now looking to four additional projects to add to the list.

“Here in this town, in this district, we utilize those developer fees,” Malone continued.

Looking to the current day, as well as the future, the board has identified the following projects for completion: the Magnolia Elementary library; phase II of the school farm, which includes the Pig Barn and a Livestock Pole Barn; completion of the new wrestling room and renovations of the band/choir/drama/old wrestling rooms at the high school.

“This is going to be a pre-manufactured metal building, so it will go up relatively fast,” Malone said of the building which will house the wrestling program and be placed on the district’s J Street lot. “So we’re certainly hoping by end of summer that will be completed and we will be on our way.”

The movement of the wrestling room to the J Street location will allow onsite modifications to take place at Oakdale High School, expanding the drama/choir/band areas.

“The conversion that needs to go there,” Malone said of the rooms’ retrofit, “for the most part our guys can do there. There’s not going to be a tremendous cost for this conversion.”

Malone also noted that the Magnolia library and School Farm Phase II projects had already been budgeted. The OHS projects, while not yet budgeted, yet a directive had been given by the board to not begin construction until an additional million dollars in fees had been reached.

“As we sit here today, we have $1,062,000 in our developer fee fund and that is what has initiated the movement of us going forward,” Malone explained.

Board members acknowledged Malone and the staff for the number of projects completed during the past six years, noting the efficiency, as well as effectiveness of utilizing the developer fees.

At the start of the meeting, Oakdale Educational Foundation President Amber Jones presented Malone and the district with a check for over $89,000. Jones shared with the board that through OEF’s fundraising via its annual dinner as well as the Support Oakdale School’s Fun Run, a total of 40 grants had been funded throughout the district to the tune of just over $92,000.

Malone also shared with the board an award of a $200,000 grant from Oakdale Irrigation District for use in providing water to the upper 13 acres at the School Farm.

“The Oakdale Irrigation District put some money away for benevolent purposes,” he said. “I was very aggressive with their (OID) encouragement to go after this amount.”

The funds from the grant will be utilized to drill a well and put in pipe to get water to the acreage, among other items.

The meeting hosted at the OJUSD Tech Center began at 6:30 p.m. Students from Cloverland Elementary, Natalie Powell, Eri Kakuno and Jayden Havers began the meeting leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

The next meeting will be hosted on Monday, Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tech Center.