School Board Delays Middle School Construction Again

A new call for bids will go out in April.

Though some funds from the $350 million Measure TT bond approved in 2008 were earmarked for a new Sierra Madre middle school, students still have no new permanent classrooms. And it doesn't look like they will for a while yet.

The Pasadena Unified School District on Tuesday decided to delay the construction of the middle school after bids for the $22.5-million project came in way over budget, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The board initially got only six bids from eight prequalified contractors, but will now put out a new call for bids to a wider range of contractors in April, the Times report said.

The new campus will have 22 classrooms, a computer lab, two science labs, a gym, library cafeteria and a parking area, according to plans (see the proposed site plan on the Measure TT Bond website).

But for now, students will continue attending classes in trailers.

The new construction bids are just one in a series of delays and bad news for the project, which has already had to go through a series of cutbacks due to budget cuts and questioning by parents about transparency and budgets that seemed askew to them.

School board officials explained this latest delay was all about fiscal responsibility.

"I'm sorry as can be that the middle school has taken so long to build," said board president Renatta Cooper, as reported by the Times, "but we can't afford to spend more on it than it should cost. We have to be wise fiscal stewards."

Tom Brady January 25, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Dear Rennata Cooper and principal Esther Y. Salinas, Perhaps it is time to examine honest construction resources based right here in Sierra Madre. On Feb 2nd, LeVeque Construction celebrates a quarter century of quality building and construction in the San Gabriel Valley. Just ask Msgr.. Richard Krekelberg from St. Rita School and parish or Father Pat Brennan, Director of the Mater Dolorosa monastery in Sierra Madre or the hundreds of other customers who relied on honest work, built on time and on budget. What we have witnessed as a community regarding the construction delays and outrageous cost over runs for our PUSD Sierra Madre Campus is simply inexcusable and irresponsible. I hope you have an opportunity to meet Mr. Anthony and Jim LeVeque in person. They have lived in our community since the 1960's and Barbara LeVeque still lives in the original home built in the 1950's. We all look forward to seeing your building plans on North Canon campus become a reality. Sincerely. Tom Brady resident , Rotary Club president 2011- 2012
D Shelley January 26, 2013 at 03:59 AM
Gee Rennata, Wouldn't wise "fiscal stewards" have determined what a new school would cost BEFORE THEY TORE DOWN THE OLD ONE!?!? Wouldn't they have researched whether they had the additional students to even fill an additional school without collapsing and closing an existing one? Since when has the PUSD shown wisdom or integrity in ANYTHING they have done in the last 20 years???
D Shelley January 27, 2013 at 05:26 AM
Just curious, Patch... Why are you using a picture of Sierra Madre Elementary School to illustrate this article? Why not show a picture of the middle school's temporary structures and the empty lot? That's what the story is about. Last time I checked, an illustration or photo should go with the story.
kitinhills January 29, 2013 at 12:26 AM
I was kind of puzzled myself at the picture of the Elementary school and what it had to do with the story. Whoever supplies photos on here obviously doesn't live in town.
lawrence rober January 30, 2013 at 04:05 AM
I've had firsthand experience with Jim Leveque and I wouldn't let him build a doghouse much less a elementary school. He is no more honest or trustworthy than the people they are already getting bids from. I suggest you look elsewhere to find a reputable contractor.


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