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SVUSD bond projects move forward

SIERRA VISTA — Bond projects throughout Sierra Vista Unified School District continue to move forward at different sites through the summer break.

In a Tuesday bond oversight committee meeting, subcommittee chairs provided updates of projects and anticipated completion dates.

Committee Chairman Jerry Proctor opened the meeting by requesting a bond audit report and overview of all bond financials.

School District Governing Board President Barbara Williams presented Proctor with a hard copy of the 180-page report, which she said is also available online.

Construction subcommittee chair Joe Kraps said the audit changes constantly as projects are underway.

“It changes every month, every time you write a check,” he said. “We want to see current updates every month.”

Kraps presented the most detailed report as he walked committee members through the different construction projects, starting with a list of upgrades needed for bathrooms across the district to bring them up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Bids for the ADA compliance project are opening Thursday.

Across the district, cost for the ADA remodeling is expected to come in between $900,000 and $1 million with an anticipated 330 day completion date, Kraps said. The ADA bathroom project is already on the next district governing board agenda for the purpose of approving a general contractor.

Another big project involves a multipurpose room for Pueblo del Sol Elementary School, which includes four classrooms, a storage room, two bathrooms and remodeling the school’s cafeteria.

Kraps is anticipating a late September or early October bid with a 300-day completion date for the project. Cost is expected to be between $2.3 and $2.4 million for the 11,000 square-foot facility, Kraps said.

Other construction updates include a recently completed paving project at Buena High School, as well as the progression of Buena’s practice gym, which has fallen behind schedule.

Despite the delay in completing the gym, Kraps reported being pleased with the project’s quality.

“That practice gym is going to have the most beautiful floor I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It’s going to be drop-dead gorgeous. Once it’s completed, the practice gym is going to be a really nice facility.”

Touching on a list of 12 construction projects that are happening around the district through the summer, Kraps said portable buildings are being removed, restroom renovations at Buena are underway, paving at Town & Country and Village Meadows elementary schools is going on, as well as paving at Joyce Clark Middle School, the district office and Rothery Learning Center.

Hydro-seeding will start at Village Meadows Elementary School around the newly constructed multipurpose room. Other projects include the installation of intercoms at Buena’s gym, as well as cameras at Buena and Village Meadows.

School Facilities Board (SFB) funded projects are not progressing at the same speed than the bond projects.

“We are up in the air when it comes to the SFB because they are slow moving,” Kraps said. “We need new buildings, HVAC systems on roofs, re-roofing projects and we need to waterproof the buildings.” However, the state has not given any indication as when those funds will be available to the district.

When it comes to the different construction projects, local contractors are used as much as possible, keeping the bond dollars in the community.

“So, a lot of things are happening in construction and will continue to happen. “Our next big project — as we work through the ADA bathrooms — is the (Pueblo del Sol) multipurpose room,” he added in his concluding remarks.

Other updates included brief reports from Information Technology, Transportation, and Finance subcommittee members.

The next bond oversight committee meeting is 5:15 p.m. on June 25 in the Sierra Vista Unified School District Governing Board Room, 3305 E. Fry Blvd.

Local libraries launch space-themed reading programs

Summer is here, and with the long hot months, there are a number of educational programs and activities throughout the area to keep children and families busy. Local libraries are offering the following activities for kids of all ages.

Sierra Vista Public Library

There is a nationwide summer reading program underway called CSLP (Collaborative Summer Library Program), with libraries across the country participating in the project to promote reading for people of all ages.

“Our summer reading kick-off event is Saturday from 10 until noon,” said Erica Merritt, youth services librarian for the Sierra Vista library. “This summer, libraries across the country are using a space-theme program called ‘Universe of Stories.’ It’s for people of all ages — kids teens and adults — to promote whole family reading.”

The Sierra Vista Library is kicking-off its summer reading program on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon with an event that features crafts, face painting and telescopes for kids to look at, Merritt said.

“We’re going to have a variety of space-themed programs throughout the summer for all ages,” she said. The best way to search for these programs is to go the library’s Facebook Page, she added.

The summer reading program is self-paced and all families are encouraged to go to sierravista.azsummerreading.org to register. By registering, it’s possible to earn reading points for prizes. While the library events are fun for families and people of all ages, it’s not necessary to participate in library events to register and earn points, Merritt said.

Every summer reading participant that reaches 1,000 points is eligible for prizes, which are awarded to children, teens and adults.

“I look forward to this summer program every year because it’s a way to get whole families involved in reading,” Merritt said. “We host a lot of fun programs here at the library to promote reading and literacy. Each year, we get more adult participation in our programs.”

Huachuca City Public Library

Summer reading at the Huachuca City Public Library starts June 12 with the national “Universe of Stories” space-themed format.

There are weekly activities for preschoolers on Wednesdays at 10:30, followed by a Thursday morning program for kindergarten through second-grade children at 9:30. Third- through sixth-grade activities are Fridays at 9:30.

“We’re going to be reading and doing all kinds of hands-on activities with the kids,” said Suzanne Harvey, director of library services. “There also will be prizes for children who reach their reading goals, along with a grand prize for the child in each age group who reads the most at the end of the summer.”

Along with its summer reading program, the library is planning a number of educational events through the summer, kicking-off with a rainwater harvesting presentation on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon.

Rick Weisberg, owner of Oasis Water Harvestingand Mary Ann Capehart from WaterWise will be giving a class on rainwater harvesting, Harvey said. “Rick will also be installing a rainwater harvesting tank at the library.”

The tank was funded through a grant from the Upper San Pedro Partnership.

“Our Friends of the Huachuca City Library applied for and got the grant. We’re really excited about the new water harvesting system. We’ll use it for our small discovery garden next to the library,” the partnership said.

As part of the presentation, participants will learn about the advantages of rainwater harvesting and responsible stewardship of natural resources, Harvey said.

Parents who wish to register their children in Huachuca City’s summer program for kindergarten through fifth-grade children, Summer Splash can register them at the Huachuca City Library. Summer Splash’s first session starts Monday and goes through June 28.

The second session is July 1 through July 26. Cost is $70 per session for children residing in Tombstone School District or who attend one of the district’s two elementary schools, Walter J. Meyer or Huachuca City School. Cost for out-of-district children is $100.

Copper Queen Library

Summer activities at Bisbee’s Copper Queen Library start at 1 p.m. Monday with the library’s Movie Mondays, which will feature space-themed films through July 22 with a selection of both retro and new films, library manager Jason Macoviak said.

Every Tuesday from June through July, be sure to join Wendy West from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in her new maker-space, located at The Annex, 519 Melody Lane. Hands-on projects give participants an opportunity to explore, create and have fun. Guided programs are offered from 1 to 3 p.m.

The library is hosting a number of classes on Wednesdays, starting with summer reading projects in collaboration with the Bisbee Science Lab. The program is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for children kindergarten through 12th-grade. Another Wednesday program — fun with math and science — starts June 12 and is for preschoolers. The session goes from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A Wednesday youth writing class called “Youth FreeWrite” is offered 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for kids 8- to 18-years of age.

“On Thursdays we’re offering a satellite program called The Annex at 519 Melody Lane from 1 to 3 p.m.,” Macoviak said. “We’re going to be partnering with the National Forest Service, doing art activities, making adobe bricks by hand and working with trees and plants.” The program is for children ranging from kindergarten through 12th-grade.

Also on Thursdays, the library is offering a kids’ Yoga and Mindfulness class at the main library from 12:30 to 1:15. The class is designed for younger children, ages 3 to 8.

Friday rounds out the week-long list of summer activities with a preschool summer reading program from 10:30 to 11:30, featuring a story hour with special guests.

Free giveaways are offered with all the activities.

The library is hosting a special activity on June 27 with astronaut Mark Kelly as a guest for a children’s program from 3 to 4 p.m.

“For him to take the time out of his busy schedule to help us celebrate this national space-themed reading program with our children is very special,” Macoviak said.

Copper Queen Library is located at Six Main St. in Bisbee.

For information, go to the library website at copperqueenlibrary.com or call 520-432-4232.