School board OKs master plan for Monte Vista
Goals are to remove portables, build multi-story structure
Efficient use of space. That's what the new master plan for Monte Vista High School is all about. The San Ramon Valley Unified School District board gave its approval last month to a plan that will eventually mean a consolidation of some space, while opening up more room for students, classrooms and storage.
The plan was presented to the board by Stan Clark, an associate with Quattrocchi Kwok Architects. Clark said the master plan is the culmination of several discussions.
"This started in November and concluded in March," he said at the April 22 meeting. "We had six spirited meetings where we had 30 or so people there to discuss the issues."
In general the master plan lays out what the committee felt were the needs to be addressed at Monte Vista. Those included a women's team room, a sports medicine facility, more science classrooms and additional space for the library, storage and administration, according to Clark.
Goals of the master plan include the removal of the portable classrooms currently in use at Monte Vista as well as replacing the buildings known as "100" and "300" with a multi-story structure. Clark said that the basic goal of the plan is upgrading the current facility, not expanding it.
"There is very little growth being built in," he explained.
The current campus was designed for around 2,400 students, and the student population is now 2,422.
School Board Vice President Joan Buchanan said she agreed with the need for changes in the 100 and 300 buildings.
"Those buildings are very low on space," she said.
Clark pointed out that part of the reason for the lack of space is the design of the building, noting, "They are very strangely laid out."
He said removing the 100 building would also have the beneficial effect of creating a small courtyard area for students and faculty, giving the campus a greater sense of openness and space.
Assistant Superintendent Margaret Brown suggested the library facility be placed on the third floor of the new multi-story structure, which would both allow the design of an entirely new library and increase the space in the courtyard area.
Board members were pleased with the plan although there were some concerns. Buchanan stated she would like to see a textbook storage room incorporated into the plans, something that was not part of the planning process in the beginning.
Another issue raised was improvements at the athletic fields.
"I do think that when we master plan our high schools we need to plan our fields," Buchanan said. "We have booster groups and others who fundraise and raise $50,000 to $100,000 to put something in. We don't want to tell them that we're going to rip it out because it's not in the right place. "
With little further discussion, trustees unanimously approved the plan.
Now, according to district spokesman Terry Koehne, the real work begins - funding the improvements.
"Basically it's a preliminary step toward moving forward with projected construction projects there," Koehne said. "It's one of the ways we involve the community in the process. Each school's master plan has a committee and that committee goes through the process and says here's our 'vision' for Monte Vista High School. And the board would approve that.
"In this case though, there is no funding. We would need to identify a funding source and that would likely come from another school bond."
Monte Vista was opened in 1965 to accommodate 1,600 students. Measure A and Measure D funds have been used for upgrades several times over the years, including an aquatic center, a new science building and a new gym.
Implementing the latest plans would complete the process of replacing or upgrading the old facilities, said Koehne.
Measure A bond funds have provided a number of improvements at Monte Vista, but those funds would not cover the work proposed in the new master plan. Koehne said the board will be looking at funding options in the future, but at this point there is no timeline on implementing any of the suggested improvements.