School board changes 2014-2015 calendar for South Fork and Miranda; approves contract for modernization of wings at South Fork

Southern Humboldt Unified School district board of trustees met at Whitethorn School on March 13 in the new modular classroom where science fair projects were on display.

The board looked at several options for changing the 2014-2015 school year calendar for South Fork High School and Miranda Junior High to begin on Sept. 2 (the day after Labor Day) in order to give the contractor another week at the end of summer break to complete modernizations to A, B, and C wings at South Fork before school begins.

After a great deal of discussion the board voted to choose the option of having the school year for South Fork and Miranda begin on Sept. 2 and end on June 17, with some changes to the minimum day schedule in November.

Scott had surveyed the staff and teachers with several potential options before the meeting without definitive results, leaving most of the decision to the board. There were about 20 parents and teachers at the meeting who participated in the lengthy discussion.


Scott reported that she had met with district staff and two board members with the contractor and the architect Judy Pate Semingson after subcontract bids were received to discuss costs for the modernization of B and C wings and part of A wing at South Fork High School.

At the board meeting contractor Dirk Dinsmore of Dinsmore Construction of Fortuna reported that the final cost for this phase of modernization before contingency would be $2,954,718. The board approved a 15% contingency of about $443,000, so the cost for modernization of B and C wings and parts of A wing were figured at about $3,400,000.

Dinsmore and the board were pleased with the subcontractor bids that had been received. In response to a question about the soft costs (expenses not directly related to construction), Scott reported that the Division of State Architect (DSA) inspector had not been paid yet but the bulk of architect fees have been paid.

The plan for changes to A wing are the on north half, the hallway, windows all the way around, the whole roof, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), doors, and making a staff bathroom ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. Dinsmore said it also includes removal of a skylight and sheetrocking the ceiling, and water and sewer lines in the building.

Changes to the south side of the A building where administration offices are currently located will wait until it is determined if there will be a new administration/library building, and if so, the south side of A wing will house Osprey Learning Center, Scott said.

District business manager Bambi Henderson reported that there was on that day $8,208,963 in the bond account.

O'Sullivan noted that the modernization plans are on track and the next project in this phase will be for the gym locker room construction which will be covered by money in the bond fund.

The board voted to authorize Scott to sign the lease/leaseback contract for Dinsmore Construction to modernize B and C wings and parts of A wing at South Fork.

The discussion about adding student lockers to the modernization plans at South Fork was tabled until after the June election, when voters decide if the new bond measure for $10 million, called Measure N, passes.

At the last board meeting, board chair Tom Mulder had requested board discussion of the feasibility and cost of adding hot water to one bathroom for each school site, but the board decided to wait until the June election for that discussion, too. However, Scott reported the bathroom in B wing at South Fork will have hot water since there is a hot water heater next to that bathroom.

The board voted to approve a contract with John Craven for district DSA inspector.


It was noted that Ann Constantino is now staffing the library so it can be accessible to students during breaks and lunch. She is also acting as one of two school counselor techs. The request for library accessibility was made by students at their meeting with the board at the end of February.

Scott said that she is working on arranging a Challenge Day, another request from students at their meeting with the board.

Scott reported that there will be an increase in bandwidth in Redway to enable the district to catch up with technology requirements for the new state testing that will be on computers.

There will be a reduction in staff of one fulltime employment position (FTE) at South Fork School, due to the seventh graders moving to the junior high next year, but because of retirement no layoffs are required.

The district is considering a partnership with the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District in delivery of services of the Family Resource Center, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.


In the March 11 issue of the Redwood Times it was incorrectly reported that board chair Thomas Mulder asked about the cost of adding hot water to one bathroom at each wing at South Fork. His actual request was to look at the costs of having hot water at one bathroom at each school site.

We regret any confusion this may have caused.