Fresno Unified trustees gave the green light this week to a $37.6 million construction bid for the new Juan Felipe Herrera Elementary School in southeast Fresno.
Trustee Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas made a point of asking how the bid compared with prior estimates. Chief operations officer Karin Temple said the winning bid came in under the most recent engineer’s estimate of $40.7 million.
The Herrera construction contract was awarded under a project labor agreement, which foes had warned would be more expensive because of requirements to use labor union members.
“I just wanted to note that, because I know there was a lot of concern with the PLA and a lot of talk about this skyrocketing our building cost … in fact, it did not deter people from bidding, and we ended up with a lower bid than what we even thought,” she said.
The winning bid was submitted by Davis Moreno Construction Inc. of Fresno, which years ago sued Fresno Unified over the district’s use of lease-leaseback contracts for construction projects.
Project Includes Healthcare Center
Jonasson Rosas said she was concerned about a district proposal on the Herrera project to cancel construction of a 2,600-square-foot community medical center if no healthcare provider agreed to lease the structure within 90 days of the bid award.
Healthcare providers might need more time to consider leasing the center amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. Jonasson Rosas said she wants the board to weigh in on any potential cancellation of the medical center construction if there is no leasee by the 90-day deadline.
“I do not want to artificially constrain ourselves and then our community not get the benefit of a healthcare center because of any deadline,” she said.
The 80,000-square-foot elementary school will be built on East Church Avenue between Peach and Willow avenues and is expected to open in August 2021.
Fresno Pacific Prepares for Student Visits
It’s one of those rites of passage for high school students — visiting the campuses of colleges or universities that they might want to attend after graduation.
In the age of COVID-19, those visits will look a little different at Fresno Pacific University, which will begin welcoming prospective students on campus visits starting Monday.
Students who are enrolling for the first time or transferring and want to visit the southeast Fresno campus will need to make appointments by going to fpu.edu/visit or calling (559) 453-2039. While on campus, visitors will need to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
Classes Will Be Face-to-face
Barring any coronavirus-caused shutdowns, the university is planning for on-campus classes and to open dorms to all first-year students. But those who live in the Fresno area may be asked to keep living at home and commute to campus so the university can employ social distancing in dorms.
Rooms will be single occupancy, with some larger rooms holding two students.
Fresno Pacific is planning to resume on-campus classes this fall, with the potential for blended instruction and alternative school and work schedules.
And The Winner Is …
Eighteen teams in Fresno Unified’s eSports League duked it out over three days in the season-ending tournament “League of Legends,” a multiplayer online battle arena video game.
When the dust settled, Sunnyside High School emerged victorious, superintendent Bob Nelson announced this week.
Sunnyside’s five team members get a computer monitor each and may also get some attention from some of the more than 200 colleges and universities that are recruiting — and providing scholarships — for eSports players.
Nelson said Edison High School came in second and Design Science Middle College High School took third.