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Trustees welcome Armitage as 2016 school board president

By: Carol Percy, Reporter
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Just in time for the New Year, school board trustees elected new officers for 2016 at Tuesday night’s lightly-attended school board meeting.
According to board bylaws, the Western Placer Unified School District’s five-person board is required to annually reorganize trustee positions.
As of Tuesday, Damian Armitage will serve as board president for 2016. Kris Wyatt is vice president and Paul Long will serve as board clerk. Outgoing president Brian Haley and Paul Carras will continue as board members.
Carras was also designated to serve as the board’s voting representative on the Placer County Committee. The position is a requirement of the Placer County Office of Education.
All positions received an unanimous vote from the board.
On Tuesday, district Superintendent Scott Leaman gave The News Messenger a report on plans for disbursement of Measure A school bond funds.
The following information reflects the project’s current status:
• In the Nov. 4, 2014 General Election, voters authorized $60 million in Measure A school bond funds.
• Earlier this year, Western Placer school board trustees voted to divide the $60 million into a series of three $20 million bonds to use for local schools.
• The first $20 million is being divided between two local high school projects. Ten million dollars is designated for improvements at Lincoln High School and another $10 million is allotted for building a new high school in the Twelve Bridges area.
During a September report to the school board, Leaman said that the district was enacting an option to buy land in the Twelve Bridges area of Lincoln.
The designated $10 million in bond funds will purchase land from Sierra College and complete preliminary site testing for the new high school, Leaman said in April.
The land purchase will mark an initial step in the process of planning for a new $100 million comprehensive high school in the Twelve Bridges area, Leaman said. The school has not yet been named.
New construction and improvements at Lincoln High School are scheduled to begin next summer.
LPA, Inc. design architects was hired by the district this year to provide design and engineering services for the $10-million improvement project at Lincoln High.
Phase One of the improvement project will include a $3-million one-story, 7,600-square-foot classroom facility.
The building will consist of five standard classrooms, a computer laboratory, counselors’ offices and restroom facilities. It will be located at the front of the high school campus, off J Street, and is targeted for completion in June 2017, according to Western Placer Unified School District’s facilities director Mike Adell.
Exterior projects will include upgrading turf and track ($1.2 million), enhancing the quadrangle area and relocating 10 portable classrooms ($1.65 million), building a luncheon area shelter and covered walkways ($500,000), and upgrading classroom technology ($500,000), according to Adell.
The new classroom facility is targeted for completion in fall 2017, Adell said.
Leaman said Tuesday that the district appreciates the funds to improve Lincoln High School and to build a new high school at Twelve Bridges.
“Community members should see dramatic activity at Lincoln High School this summer and we are ready to start the specific school plans for Twelve Bridges once we purchase the required land this summer,” Leaman said.
In other school board news, the Western Placer holiday school break begins with a half-day on Friday. Classes will resume on Jan. 4.
District offices will be closed from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, reopening on Jan. 4.
For more information, visit the school district website at wpusd.k12.ca.us or call 645-6350.