High school shop renovation complete
by Kendall Wright | Patterson Irrigator
Jan 07, 2010 | 961 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Construction crews add the finishing touches to the newly remodeled ag-auto shop at Patterson High School. Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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Patterson High School students and teachers will get a late Christmas gift when they return to school Jan. 11, with a refurbished auto shop and industrial agriculture building ready to open for classes.

After years of being passed over or shelved, the renovation of the deteriorating, nearly 40-year-old building — the major selling point when the district asked voters to pass a $50 million school bond in November 2008 — was finished a day ahead of schedule and $115,000 under its $2.5 million budget, according to Mark Wheeler, manager of facilities and construction for the Patterson Joint Unified School District.

“I’m very pleased with how the final project turned out — and of course, from a construction point, that it was done under budget and on time,” Wheeler said. “Many people at the school have been active in making the programs very successful, and now, with the building and technology upgrades, it will stay that way for many more years.

“I’m always pleased when I can help bring an old building back to life.”

In six months, Manteca-based CT Brayton & Sons Inc. brought the ag-auto shop back to its former glory from the inside out.

Stripped to its original studs, the building’s major upgrades consisted of new walls, doors and roof panels, in addition to polish for the old concrete floors and new lighting.

Among other upgrades, metal overhangs outside the auto shop should allow students to work outdoors even in wet weather.

“They did a wonderful job, and the students are so excited to come back,” auto teacher Dave McKenzie said. “The shop was so old before — it will be nice to have a teaching atmosphere that just makes you feel better.

“We’re just really thankful to the community for backing the project in such a tough time for money.”

The modernization process for district schools is far from over, though.

According to Wheeler, proposals to improve Las Palmas Elementary, Grayson Charter, Del Puerto High and other parts of Patterson High have already been sent to the state.

Those plans are expected to go before the school board to be prioritized as early as spring, he said.

• Contact Kendall Wright at 892-6187 or kendall@pattersonirrigator.com.
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