Ground has officially broken on the Ripon Unified multi-million dollar effort to modernize Colony Oak Elementary School on Murphy Road.
Teachers, administrators and community leaders took part in the event that heralds the construction of new school buildings in an orchard at the rear of the existing campus.
The project is described as a major transformation of the existing school first built in 1990 using portable structures. Bob Prewitt was its first principal having come from Ripona School. Mary Lou Kahl was principal next for some 13 years before her retirement.
The transformation will include permanent buildings arranged in a more clustered formation.  In addition to larger classrooms and lab spaces, Colony Oak will be equipped with modern electrical and data systems along with technology infrastructure.
The campus will be getting new, modernized restroom facilities, a parking lot expansion, new well water and septic systems as well as a dedicated traffic loop at the back of the campus to improve traffic circulation and safety.
“This project furthers our district vision of providing safe, positive and stimulating environments where students are our first priority,” noted board President Chad Huskey.
Assemblyman Heath Flora was “delighted” to be in attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony. He presented Huskey with a certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly.
The project is largely funded by the Measure G Bond, approved five years ago for $25 million to modernize two Ripon elementary campuses, Colony Oak and Weston Elementary.
Ripon Superintendent Ziggy Robeson said the intent was to create permanent new classrooms to replace temporary portable facilities and improve academic resources including modern science labs and library/computer labs.
Measure G also promised to provide a local match to the district making it eligible to receive monies in State grants to pay off the debt over time.
The development and construction for this project is in partnership with CT Brayton & Sons, Inc. Construction, WLC Architects and Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. Financial Consultants.
Colony Oak Student Council President Emma Phelps had this to share, “We will be looking forward to the future use of the science labs and the use of the new technology.  I am glad to be part of this thrilling new adventure at Colony Oak.”

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