Board of Education may pick delivery method for new John Muir Elementary School campus

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez Unified School District Board of Education may decide Monday how to it will accept delivery of the new John Muir Elementary School that will replace the current buildings on the campus.

One option is design-build, a two-step process in which a design professional prepares performance specifications. Procurement is open to contract negotiation, and costs can be made on a “not to exceed” basis. Different architects complete the plans in conjunction with a prefabricated building designer and builder.

Lease-Leaseback is another option, in which the builder is selected using requests for proposals and the contract is awarded before costs are determined, which is done after preconstruction is completed.

The same architect can finish plans and be a sub-consultant with builder input.

Design-Bid Build would allow the Board designation, by resolution, of a sole source for the prefabricated building. The same architect finishes plans, using a prefabricated building designer as a sub-consultant.

Two weeks ago, the Board agreed with a subcommittee recommendation that the new construction should be a single prefabricated building, with more parking spaces and a streamlined drop off and pick up area.

Even though this alternative is more expensive than budgeted, the Board agreed with the subcommittee that the single-building design offered safety to pupils that a multiple-building campus would not.

Campus security has been a concern even before 17 students and staff members were killed by a shooter Feb. 14 at a Florida high school.

In addition, a threat last month that later was determined not to be genuine caused the closure of Martinez Junior High School.

That closure will be discussed Monday when the Board considers applying to receive state Average Daily Attendance funding because the closure was an emergency.

California allows schools that receive ADA funding to apply for relief if a school system has to close a school because of a natural disaster or, in this case, because a handwritten threat was found at the school, which constitutes an emergency.

Lori O’Connor, principal of Vicente-Briones Schools, will speak to the board about mental health prevention and early intervention. In her presentation, she will tell the panel that only 4 percent of those 13 to 18 seek treatment for mental health issues.

Some don’t want their parents to find out or believe that getting such help will stigmatize the. Some don’t know how to get the help they need, or don’t have the transportation or finances or can find services that fit their schedules.

However, those barriers are eliminated through school-based counseling, of which 55.1 percent take advantage because the services are confidential, free, and take place at times convenient for the students.

A questionnaire helps counselors find incidents of abuse, neglect and other problems, such as violence, substance abuse, mental illness or other difficulties at the home.

Those incidents can lead to a child’s depression, and some of them attempt suicide, and they can have a lifespan 20 years shorter than other students.

According to her presentation, O’Connor has found that counseling reduces such symptoms as depression, anxiety, anger and thoughts of suicide.

The Board also may adopt a school facility needs analysis and alternative school fees

The analysis would provide justification for the district to administer alternative school facility fees on new construction in the MUSD area.

The Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday in a closed session to discuss legal and personnel matters. The regular meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the District Boardroom, 921 Susana St.

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