SCOTTS VALLEY -- A San Francisco-based firm will work through April documenting the current structural status of Scotts Valley's schools and identifying where the most immediate repairs are needed, laying the groundwork for a master plan that covers facilities throughout the district.

Vine Hill and Brook Knoll elementary schools were both constructed in the 1960s, and the high school in 1999, according to Superintendent Penny Weaver.

Of particular concern is the middle school, whose buildings are from 64 to 74 years old. The school "is aging and toward the end of its service life as a school campus, so I think we have a call to action to be responsible and provide appropriate facilities," Weaver said.

At Tuesday's meeting, the board of trustees unanimously approved a $33,240 contract with Sally Swanson Architects, which will tour the schools to determine whether the buildings and grounds are in line with educational programs, Weaver said. For example, adjustments to outdoor fields may be needed to meet the standards for physical education program goals. Plumbers and electrical engineers also will visit the sites as part of the assessment.

Right now, schools are "responding to problems when water pipes break and when we see termite damage, and we want to get out in front of the parade, so to speak," Weaver said.

The district receives about $41,000 from the state each year for facilities maintenance, Weaver said, and funding for the studies will come from that account, not the general fund.


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But general fund money could be tapped to pay for some of the repairs. In June, district officials expect to receive up to $1 million from Proposition 30, the tax-increase measure voters passed in November. Whether restrictions will be placed on those funds is not yet known, but "we believe they will go into the general fund and we can allocate them for our needs," Weaver said. For now, the focus is on the surveys, and once the repairs have been identified, the district likely will approach the state for funding.

In other business, the board requested some Scotts Valley-specific amendments to a draft resolution from Santa Cruz City Schools related to gun violence. An updated draft, and an amended letter to state and federal lawmakers requesting additional funding for safety measures, will be presented at the district's Feb. 19 meeting.

Follow Sentinel reporter Kimberly White on Twitter at Twitter.com/kwhite95066