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Griffin Technology Academy announce progress on campus construction project – Times-Herald

Griffin Technology Academy announced on Tuesday that its campus construction project — aiming to bring modern facilities to Vallejo and a $48 million state-funded project to the area — is waiting on final approval.

Superintendent Nick Driver of Griffin Technology Academies announced in a news release that final measures to secure Proposition 51 funding are making “tremendous” progress.

“GTA has made a tremendous amount of progress over the last 12 months and I wanted to share the positive news with our school families, staff and board members as well as the Vallejo community at large,” Driver said. “We are eager to break ground and bring immediate jobs to Vallejo that will result in a safe and conducive environment to fulfill our educational mission as GTA recommits and reinvests in Vallejo’s future.”

The final application to the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) was submitted by GTA in late February. The entire application process has taken over five years to complete and, in addition to OPSC, requires five additional authorizations by state and local agencies, including the City of Vallejo, VCUSD, the Department of Toxic Substances and Controls, the Division of the State Architect, and the California School Finance Authority. VCUSD has not yet signed off, but GTA said it is “hopeful they will do so shortly; this is a project that thousands of Vallejo parents, students, and community members urgently wish to see break ground.

OPSC staff said it will soon consider recommending GTA’s funding request for the MIT Academy campus rebuild to the State Allocation Board. If approved, the state can begin issuing a general obligation bond for GTA’s new construction and modernization project. GTA said in the news release that “it anticipates the final process for funding authorization could be as early as June with VCUSD’s approval.”

GTA’s new construction and modernization project is planned for the MIT Academy campus which serves middle school and high school students — both located on the same campus at 2 Positive Place in Vallejo. The project site encompasses approximately 11 acres of the 14-acre MIT Academy campus and would renovate the existing campus by demolishing the existing buildings and portable buildings at the southern portion of the site.

The proposed project involves the construction of two-story classrooms buildings, a science building, an administration building, a multipurpose building, a gymnasium, a soccer field and other outdoor play fields. Site improvements would also include on-site parking, improved vehicle circulation, landscaping, walkways, and other amenities. The proposed project includes the construction of a total of 45 classrooms.

The proposed project is being managed by Educational Facilities Group, with Aedis Architects providing all architectural services. VCUSD owns the project site, and GTA operates the MIT Academy school campus under a long-term lease agreement.

In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 51 – Public School Facility Bonds Initiative – authorizing $9 billion in general obligation bonds: $3 billion for new construction and $3 billion for modernization of K-12 public school facilities; $1 billion for charter schools and vocational education facilities; and $2 billion for California Community Colleges facilities. Solano County educators, building and trade organizations, businesses and chambers of commerce, and local politicians supported the statewide initiative to build new campus structures and modernize pre-existing ones in order to meet standards for earthquake safety, fire prevention, and health risks.

The $48 million designated for this Proposition 51 project represents net inflows of dollars into Northern Vallejo’s economy funded by State revenues. The project will be built with a Project Labor Agreement utilizing local working men and women from the Napa-Solano Building and Construction Trades.

“We applaud GTA’s commitment by engaging a Project Labor Agreement on this project. It signals the beginning of a partnership that will deploy the skilled craftspeople and apprentices of Napa and Solano County,” said Business Manager of the Napa-Solano Building and Construction Trades Council Danny Bernardini. “Considering the trades pipeline that currently exists with our high schools, pre-apprenticeship and adult schools, it is our hope that a young person in that system will work on this project. We look forward to supporting GTA in their attempt to finalize this project.”

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