After a Busy School Year, A Busy Summer!
As we finally begin to shake off the winter and enjoy beautiful spring weather (if only sporadically) there are many reasons to celebrate. The last few weeks of school will be packed with activities from class trips and awards ceremonies to tournaments and state playoffs.
For high school seniors, the conclusion of their EPG experience is almost here. Graduation is set for Sunday, May 22nd, at 3:00pm in the Titan Center. For the rest of our students, the school year will end on Wednesday, May 25th, with a 2:30pm dismissal.
While our students are on break, the summer months will be a very busy time at EPG. Summer cleaning crews will be busy giving the buildings a deep clean. Multiple facility improvements will also be taking place around the district. The total for the summer work will be approximately $2.5 million with the costs being covered through a combination of the sale of bonds and revenue earned from athletic facility advertising. The costs were reduced by our ability to use cooperative purchasing, performance contracting, and by completing some of the work ourselves. Through performance contracting we were also able to take advantage of local contractors, thus keeping the money local.
We will be replacing portions of the Gridley Grade School roof around the gymnasium. This work will require a complete tear-off of the roof, which will include some work on our classrooms as well. We will remove the floor tiles containing asbestos and replace them with new vinyl tile. We will also replace the classroom lighting and ceilings. The overall impact will be brighter, more energy efficient classrooms for our students.
At the high school, we will be renovating the auditorium. Out of use for the last two years, we are ready to make repairs and upgrades after addressing the leaks in the roof and windows last summer. The result will be a renewed facility that is ready for use by students and community with seating for nearly 400 people. We are also adding new seating for the home side of our track and field facility and a new concession stand with improved restroom facilities. We will be building the concession stand ourselves with help from some local volunteers. The old home stands will be moved to the visitor’s side of the track. You can follow our progress, in pictures, throughout the summer on Facebook.
Looking forward to the fall, many community members have asked me what will happen if the state does not have a budget when the 2016-2017 school year starts. Thanks to outstanding fiscal stewardship by our School Board, EPG schools will be open for the year. While many area districts struggle, our reserves and ability to access additional funds are strong enough to ensure that we will be in session all year. While we have experienced a decline in our reserves after seven years of state underfunding, we have made strong, strategic use of our funds. During this time we have not only preserved opportunities for students, we have actually expanded them! That said, please feel free to contact our area legislators (a link can be found on our website) to encourage them to work together and bring an end to the budget stalemate.
Thanks to visionary leadership from our School Board, we will continue to invest in outstanding opportunities for our students for 2016-2017 and beyond!