Clovis School Board Holds Facilities Workshop

In the Clovis Unified Board Room, the CUSD Board held a facilities workshop on Wednesday April 27th. The point of the meeting was to discuss matters also considered on a smaller scale at the March 9th HR and Administrative Subcommittee meeting.

At that March 9th meeting, board members Betsy Sandoval, Hugh Awtrey, and Dr. Stephen Fogg were in attendance as well as Assistant Superintendent Denver Stairs who assisted in running that meeting as well as this facilities workshop. 

Right from the beginning, discussion was had on a new color coded map that is in its infancy in being introduced to the public.

This map, according to Stairs, will help assist the school district and the public in general with instances of road closures, future construction, and current and on-going construction to schools within the district.

The map is color coded according to differing styles of closure (partial, full, or no activity), as well as setting boundaries for high schools and elementaries within the district.

The link to the interactive map again can be found at maps.cusd.com/projects.

The discussion then moved on to the issue of waste water for the districts new proposed site at Fowler and Mckinley.

They questioned the matter of how the district will move forward in working with all three the City of Clovis, the County of Fresno, as well as the City of Fresno, for sewage connection for their new site.

According to Stairs, the closest possible connection would be the Fowler avenue trunk main, which lies within the City of Fresno even though the City of Clovis owns the capacity that lies within the pipe.

The problem with this comes from a disagreement between the two cities in which a consensus cannot be made on the discharge of effluent water from another treatment plant.

A solution proposed would be to create the district’s own sewage plant in which therein lies the possibility of being reimbursed through grants through a number of years. 

The conversation then shifted to enrollment and the thoughts stemming from the addition of future schools.

According to statistics and projections done by the district, they expect to continue to grow in numbers within the district in a move to not “wait till they need it”, said Stairs.

Numbers that will be provided in the Fall will help the district in forecasting for the upcoming years. 

Per the district’s report, newly built locations will elicit not only a growing population but also boundary changes.

The district expects these changes to come forth with the completion of the Fowler/Mckinley location in 2024, the Terry Bradley Center in 2025, and a Fowler/Herndon location set to be completed in 2026.

Each of these locations’ construction periods overlap with the other at some point or another. 

The design of the structures was discussed with new innovations in education expected.

Glass walls, much like those at Dry Creek Elementary where students can learn “outside of the classroom” are expected, and Superintendent Dr. Eimear O’Brien called the innovation in the classroom as an opportunity for “collaborative teaching”.

She then praised the new classrooms as possibilities for teachers to “think outside the box”.

Stairs cited research on natural light and the impact that this may have on learning.

No matter the difference in research, the thoughts remained with innovation in educating the students of the district throughout Clovis. 

The conversation amongst the group of educators ended on questions of enrollment for the Fall of 2022.

There were mostly questions based on how many students will come back into schools in the district and how many students will end their stay at home classes that they have now become accustomed to for the past couple of years.

One point was also made that many parents may simply forget to register their students until it is too late, almost at the last second before the semester begins.

With the addition of the question of a possible vaccine mandate and a delay in households, the district recognized it has a multitude of questions left to be unanswered until the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.