Delivery of school pre-fabricated buildings to begin

Crane comes in Thursday to place structures for Mercey Springs

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comApril 12, 2013 

The buildings start arriving today.

Steve Tietjen, Los Banos Unified School District superintendent, said the pre-fabricated buildings that will make up Mercey Springs Elementary School will be placed at the school site today through Wednesday.

On Thursday, a crane will be brought in to put the buildings on their foundation, Tietjen said.

"I'm very pleased, and the good news is they're ahead of schedule," he said of the school facilities.

The pre-fabricated structures were built by JTS Construction at its headquarters in Bakersfield. The project was originally estimated to be completed in May.

The school will be located at the former Merced College, Los Banos Campus, in the 16000 block of Mercey Springs Road. The district kept one building from the former college campus, which previously was used as a preschool.

The facility will open in August to help stem the district's overcrowding problem.

Tietjen said the school has increased its projected enrollment by about 60 students, which has caused the district to hire two more teachers for the kindergarten through sixth-grade facility. Typically, additional students arrive for the start of school, causing the district to hire even more teachers.

"We're going to be tracking (enrollment) very carefully," Tietjen said, adding that because the school is expected to only have a little more than 300 students, there will be room on campus if the student body is larger than predicted.

Tietjen said Mercey Springs Elementary School Principal Eric Sowersby is in the process of organizing a meeting for the parents of students who will be attending the new school.

During the past six months, district officials have been in discussion with the state Department of Transportation about a traffic light near the school at the Scripps Drive and Mercey Springs Road intersection.

Caltrans has agreed to let the school open without the light being installed.

The state agency has also agreed to pay for the light when needed, which is projected to be when the school's enrollment reaches 400 students.

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or by email at cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or by email at cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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