RIPON – Two kindergarten classes moved into their new classrooms at Colony Oak Elementary on Monday.

They came dressed for the occasion, wearing orange construction vests and hard hats as a fitting tribute to those involved in the campus renovation from over the past year.

“It was exciting,” Superintendent Siegrid Robeson said later that evening at the Ripon Unified school board meeting.

The move-in of the younger students was just the first pf the voter-approved Measure G project.

Khush Gheyara of Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. indicated that Colony Oak — from once portable classrooms to a state-of-the-arts STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) campus — will essentially be completed by the end of this year.

During that span, students from the other grade levels will gradually transition in to the finished classrooms.

As for cost?

“Approximately $10.9 million in project costs are anticipated to be funded by Measure G,” said Gheyara. “The balance (of the total allocated $17 million) will be funded by other district funds.”

CFW initially proposed to the board to handle the construction of Colony Oak in phases. But that was before the passage of Prop. 51 in 2016.

“That opened up new funds,” said Gheyara, who added that factoring the passing of Prop. 51 into the equation enabled the board to elect expanding the project to a single phase.

RUSD, in this case, applied for a New Construction grant for about $7.9 million back in July —  the district also applied for Modernization State Aid of about $7 million to Weston in 2015.

CFW, in addition, assisted the district in submitting two additional applications under the “Like for Like” funding program last month. The amount was about $2.1 million for Weston and $2.3 million for Colony Oak.

“While the receipt of state funds is not guaranteed, it is anticipated that there’s sufficient funding approved under Prop. 51 to fund all of the district’s submitted applications, subjected to approval by the State,” said Gheyara in his report.


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