When the 134 kindergarten-eighth-grade students returned from summer vacation for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 14, there was shock and lots of awe. The 70-year-old primary wing of Three Rivers Union School, in less than two months, was totally transformed. Even the primary bathrooms, a source of consternation in recent years, have been beautifully redone.
The first phase of modernization put a lot of pressure on the three primary grade teachers — Liz Harrelson (kindergarten), Katie St. Martin (first grade), and Jami Beck (second grade) — to get everything unpacked from storage and their classrooms ready by Wednesday’s opening bell. But the contractor, Oral E. Micham, Inc, had promised to finish by August 10, and they remained on schedule.
The other teachers were envious. They wanted brand new floors. windows, cupboards, walls and ceilings and bathrooms too. The older kids wanted just to use the bathrooms, but these are reserved for Three Rivers’ youngest students.
Susan Sherwood, TRUS superintendent and principal, said she was so thrilled she could hardly keep from crying. But there will remain some dysfunction around the old school campus as the construction crew works to complete the junior high (hexagon) wing. That target date is December 7, 2019.
It’s highly probable that the contractor will make that deadline and students in grades six through eight will get to share in the TRUS modernization too. Both buildings being renovated were over 50 years old.
The work is being completed with bond funds from Measure E. The $4 million school bond passed with 64% of the vote in November 2018. Property owners will pays an estimated tax rate of $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value to fund these facility upgrades and improvements.