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June 24, 2017
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Credo High School’s special day Jazzed it up with love and music Bikes become the equalizer at UCP day camp Skate park project a possibility for parks and rec SMART and safe Nurse’s strike in Petaluma Sutton takes oath of Eagle Scout Shows are icing on the cake First Rohnert Park student to visit sister city in Japan brings back gift Get ready Cotati - water and sewer rates are rising Cotati woman pleads: consider the salamander PG&E contractors to inspect gas meters in Sonoma County Rohnert Park moves to make medication disposal easier Protestors show up, affordable housing gets closer Caps being tossed after graduation at Tech-High Rancho Cotate Graduation 2017 Cyber tip leads to Cotati man arrested for possession of child pornography Place receives Girl Scout Gold Award. Fun after school Gift of $1,000,000 to the Sonoma County Fair Foundation Safreno, 2017 Veteran of the Year A sea of flags Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Employer Best Practice Awards Breakfast! RP summer camp brings pets and kids together Petaluma teachers hold one-day strike The annual Avenue of Flags May 29 at RP Community Center SSU commencement; one for the history books Problem reaching AT&T last weekend? During Rohnert Park City Council meeting protestors unexpectedly take center stage Vehicle pursuit ends with arrest of 14-year-old Ex RP public safety officer pleads no contest to sex offenses Rancho 2017 top 20 Great turnout for RPPSOA pancake breakfast to help Project Grad Gabriella stole the show Town Hall meeting A bit of Uganda A mission to help Sheriff's office releases details on SSU officer involved shooting RP to replace old trees A true celebration of ‘Cinco de Mayo’ Bunkers at Foxtail set for repairs RP man arrested for attempted murder Project Grad help in full swing CRPUSD OKs two contracts Credo gets used to new digs at SMV Richard Crane Elementary School Man busted for DUI after crashing into tree in RP New hands bring subtle changes to Sharing of the Green fundraiser A traditional dance of Japan Suspect arrested after evading a Cotati Peace Officer Shameful time in history RP rejects new self-storage facilities Engineering with Legos at the Ray Miller Community room Emiri Nomura awarded scholarship Council amends UDSP Body of missing woman found RAFD names part-time fire chief Golf Course Drive Crossing concerns may delay SMART train ‘Quiet Zones’ Shopping carts ran amok in Cotati last Saturday KRCB garners huge windfall from FCC auction Missing Penngrove woman's body found in Marin County Survey Says: Rohnert Park Residents Love City, but not Traffic Ricardo Oliva receives ‘Coach of the year’ for the Northern District Nonn expected to sue CRPUSD Credo crew marches to new home Cotati delays vote on Valparaiso Bunfest was hopping with bunny lovers Sonoma State University equestrians jump with joy on their way to Kentucky The Voice enters into 25th year Cotati-reviews midyear budget Two RP Parks getting upgrades Double Decker Lanes hosts the QubicaAMF A new look for SSU gym RP man reported missing Padre Town Center changes hands Local Tech High student chosen for Scholars program Boys and Girl Club employee arrested for child endangerment Sonoma County to take a look at immigration issue Bomb scare closes RCHS Treasurer for Rancho Cotate High Project Grad Arrested for Embezzlement Armed suspect arrested after resistance RP to conduct survey Man arrested after high-speed chase through 3 cities RP makes changes to city code for ADUs RP girl accosted while walking to school Man gets 11 years in prison for RP knife attack Man who led chase into SF caught And they're off. . . A crab feast at Community Center Taking a pie in her grill RP man busted for possession of meth Saddle Up and Ride Cotati OKs water, sewer rate study RP votes to regulate vaping CRPUSD schools now a safe haven for immigrant students Community quickly rallies for Project Grad RP adds seven to public safety Cotati votes to host shopping cart race Man arrested for attempted murder Cotati opposes SB 618 Defibrillators proving to be invaluable assets Artists ready for art show at library Reilani Peleti Rohnert Park City Council to host Town Hall meeting on May 3 Corrections Suspected explosive device at RCHS Seventh-graders in local schools to be taught CPR Graton Tribe makes good on payments Voice issues apology to school board, superintendent RP man arrested on drug possession charges Auto burglar arrested by Cotati Police

Now that the dust has settled, is the CRPUSD ready for the next project?

By: Christina Molcillo
June 9, 2017

In 2015, there were a lot of disgruntled parents and faculty from Thomas Page Academy as a result of dust, noise and perceived danger from equipment being used as part of renovations that started as part of the Measure B bond for major renovations at Thomas Page Academy in Cotati, improvements at Technology High School in Rohnert Park, as well as Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park.

Two years later, construction is slated to begin this summer at Rancho Cotate High School and letters to the school board have already begun to pile up again. 

In the original complaints surrounding the work being done at Thomas Page Academy, parents expressed concern that the dust being created by the backhoes and other heavy machinery were aggravating asthma symptoms, and that the constant noise was giving both students and teachers alike headaches, making it difficult to focus. 

Though construction hasn’t yet begun, the letters currently being sent in are reiterating the problems at Thomas Page, and asking the school board for transparency about steps they’ve taken to alleviate their concerns. For example, in a letter to trustee Tim Nonn, Jenny Baker wrote on May 23 to say, “…we were concerned that any subsequent demolition and construction of buildings at other schools in the district should be conducted with proper consideration for the health and safety of students and teachers, and hoped that by trying to bring the situation to light, we would help the school district to avoid similar problems occurring in the future.” Another letter to the School District Governing Board dated May 23, came from Elyse Lord, who brought up the hot button issue faced in 2015 concerning the demolition of an older building that was found to contain mold being broken down on-site during school hours, potentially releasing spores into the air and further aggravating existing bronchial conditions. She ends by stating, “The construction projects sound exciting for all stakeholders; I am not anti construction.

However, I respectfully ask that you and members of your team prioritize

the health and safety of the children, faculty and staff before, during and after any

construction occurs.”

In reviewing enclosed images and video that have been sent in addition to the letters, a neutral third-party can only say that yes, construction was happening during school hours, OSHA had been made aware of the problems, and independent inspectors had been called out to test the air for any hazardous materials. Due diligence was followed, so now it seems the wait begins: Is the school district heading toward another tempest in a teapot when the construction crews show up at Rancho Cotate?

What should be addressed here are the differences between the two projects: to renovate Thomas Page, demolition was a necessary – abeit noisy – part of the process. At Rancho Cotate High School, demolition isn’t part of the plan; just building. This greatly reduces the chance of unexpected health hazards (mold, asbestos, etc.) that occur when an older building is being torn down.

The other consideration is the age of the students. High school students are preparing to enter adulthood, and as such are able to voice concerns about their well-being without parental guidance. This doesn’t mean that parents and school faculty shouldn’t step in when issues are brought up, only that when the students address them they’re able to do so with more insight and clarity than a much younger child could.

But finally, even though construction hasn’t yet begun, Superintendent Robert Haley was more than happy to address these early concerns, stating, “The contractors [Wright Contracting] are taking care of the soil, everything is fenced in, and preparations are underway to start building. The construction will take around 18 months, but when it starts they’ll meet daily with the principal to make sure they handle the amount of noise and disruptions. If something is scheduled that will be a potential noise issue, it will be planned at a time when it won’t interfere with classroom instruction.  Of course - it’s construction - so it will be loud at times, but we’re doing the best to make certain problems are going to be at a minimum.”