School upgrades in store for South/West Park campus
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Mar 06, 2014 | 4238 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
South/West Park to be modernized
Tracy Unified School District plans to build a new two-story building on the north side of the current South/West Park Elementary School campus when it is modernized in 2015. The campus is pictured Thursday from W. Mount Diablo Avenue.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Plans to modernize the 63-year-old South/West Park School campus are underway, and school officials are excited about the coming changes.

“I’m looking forward to a renovated school,” Principal Ramona Soto said. “I think it’s going to be completely different — visually will be such a different school.”

The plan to modernize the school at 501 Mount Oso Ave. began in 2008 as part of the $43.1 million Measure S that was passed by voters, she said.

The measure called for the renovation and modernization of TUSD’s oldest elementary and middle schools by upgrading classrooms, improving security and technology systems and replacing aging roofs and old heating, electrical, plumbing, cooling and ventilation with energy-efficient systems.

Soto said her school was on the original renovation list, along with Monte Vista Middle School, McKinley Elementary School and North Elementary School. But she was eventually told her school was going onto a secondary list as a future project.

When the board of education received a report on Measure S projects on May 5, district officials made South/West Park’s $18 million modernization a priority.

Designs for the K-5 school, which now has 970 students, were revealed by project architect Kevin Arwood, of Rainforth Grau & Associates Architects of Sacramento, during the Feb. 25 meeting of Tracy Unified School District trustees.

“The campus function doesn’t work that well,” he said. “There’s a lot going on on campus.”

Arwood explained that one of the biggest changes would be the creation of a two-story building that would house the new administration office and classrooms on the ground floor and an additional 960 square feet of classrooms on the second floor.

The new building would be built on the side of campus nearest West Mount Diablo Avenue, eliminating more than a dozen existing portables along on the northern side of the school. It would also make room for 124 paved parking spaces adjacent to the building and an optional drop-off loop.

The architect told the board each new classroom would be equipped with a learning wall for teacher presentations, a sink and breakfast counter and storage cubbies for the students.

As for the existing multipurpose room, which is the largest building on campus and serves as both a cafeteria and a gymnasium, Arwood said it was structurally fine. He said it lacked an outside area for student performances and needed more boys and girls bathrooms.

After his presentation, the seven-member board voted unanimously to approve the schematic design and construction documents he had shown.

Construction at the school is slated to begin in April 2015 and be completed in July 2016.

“It will be very nice,” Soto said. “We look forward to that completion.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

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