It has been a productive five years, by way of facilities and improvements for the Oakdale Joint Unified School District. Monday night’s monthly school board meeting proved to be the perfect opportunity for Superintendent of Schools Marc Malone to share with the board, as well as community members the improvements which have been made during that time to the tune of over $10 million, by way of developer fees.
“For us to move forward with all 11 of these and get all 11 completed in a five-year span is pretty amazing,” Malone said of the district’s progress on projects.
The superintendent listed off the 11 projects, which were board approved and completed during this period of time. The projects included the central kitchen, multi-purpose rooms, library/media centers, new turf at the Corral, as well as Phase 1 of the Oakdale school farm, among other things.
Each of the 11 projects were scouted and proposed to the board by the Facilities Committee.
“This was a facilities committee that actually put boots to the ground and they walked every single land asset, every single classroom that we have in the district,” Malone said. “They walked every single site so that they could have a legitimate idea of the facility needs of the district moving forward.”
Malone also made note of the board’s proactive approach by way of financial responsibility, re-financing bonds utilized for the construction of Sierra View School. That resulted in a total savings of $1.6 million.
Moving forward, new projects are slated to begin in the coming year, beginning with an expansion to the Oakdale Junior High cafeteria, a new library for Magnolia Elementary School and Phase 2 of the Oakdale School Farm.
In addition Malone highlighted the strength, growth and tremendous progress made in the area of the arts at Oakdale High School.
“We brought two dynamic people into our district,” he said of Drama/Choir teacher Bryan Mills and Band teacher Ross McGinnis.
“These gentlemen have done everything we’ve asked them to do,” he continued. “As a result they’ve created a nice problem for us. We have a space problem.”
A proposal was brought forward, a plan of relocating the current wrestling room to a new location to be built on an OJUSD owned J street lot, freeing up the existing room for a Drama/Choir space expansion. The extra space would additionally allow for expansion of the band space to occupy the space currently used by Mills for choir and drama.
Both Mills and McGinnis were present at the meeting and addressed the board, in favor of Malone’s proposal.
“I’m just excited,” Mills said to the board and audience. “I’ve been looking forward to this move for 10 years probably. If we can approve that it benefits the wrestlers, the drama department and the band in one big shot.”
The proposal was approved unanimously.
“Gentlemen you got your space,” Malone stated. “Now we just need the developer fees to keep coming.”
At the start of the meeting the annual election of board officers was conducted. Board Member Mike House was named as Board President. In addition board members Diane Gilbert, Mike House and Barbara Shook were sworn in as re-elected members by board member Tina Shatswell for an additional four-year term. Due to a recent approved consolidation of governing board elections the term will be extended by one year to 2022.
The meeting began promptly at 6:30 p.m. beginning with the Pledge of the Allegiance. Students from Sierra View Elementary leading the board and attendees in the pledge were: Karen Franco-Felix, Brook Cadwell and Jackson Taylor.
The next meeting will be hosted on Monday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m., at the Oakdale City Council Chambers.