Santa Rosa’s Montgomery High School will get up to $16 million in improvements

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Projects approved

Roofing: $15 to 18 million

Mechanical and HVAC: $7 to 10 million

Comstock Middle School/Cesar Chavez Language Academy expansion: $16 million

Montgomery High School classroom upgrades: $16 million

Piner High School stadium lights and improvements: $2 million

Maria Carrillo High School stadium improvements: $3 million

Thanks in part to the efforts of a group of Montgomery High School staff, that school joined a list of four other Santa Rosa City Schools projects that will be funded by bond measures voters passed in 2014.

The last-minute addition by the school board will allocate approximately $16 million in funding for improvements and additional classroom space on the Montgomery High School campus, where many students spend class time in temporary bungalows.

Improvements to the campus were included in the district’s long-term upgrade plan, but a group representing the school at the meeting pushed for them to be fast-tracked.

Montgomery High School music teacher Erik Ohlson stood up at Wednesday night’s school board meeting and raised concerns about the fact that, despite Montgomery placing high on the list of campuses that need upgrades, it was not included in the list of projects awaiting board approval Wednesday night.

Montgomery has the greatest number of overfilled classrooms in the district, Ohlson said, with 40 classes having more than 33 students enrolled.

The board was originally set to approve five major projects across the district’s campuses at a cost of approximately $49 million, including long-waited upgrades to Piner and Maria Carrillo High Schools’ stadiums, expansion at Comstock Middle School/Cesar Chavez Language Academy and roofing and mechanical improvements throughout the district.

After hearing Ohlson speak, board member Bill Carle asked that the district accelerate the Montgomery classroom project, which is estimated to cost about $16 million, bringing the total amount the board can spend on the projects up to $65 million.

The board’s unanimous yes vote allows the district to begin exploring designs and potential costs. Once bids are received for each project, the board will have final say on their approval.

You can reach Staff Writer Christi Warren at 707-521-5205 or christi.warren@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @SeaWarren.

Projects approved

Roofing: $15 to 18 million

Mechanical and HVAC: $7 to 10 million

Comstock Middle School/Cesar Chavez Language Academy expansion: $16 million

Montgomery High School classroom upgrades: $16 million

Piner High School stadium lights and improvements: $2 million

Maria Carrillo High School stadium improvements: $3 million

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