More than $800 million in school construction projects have been identified in the Long Range Facilities Master Plan approved by the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) Board of Education at its April 28, 2020 meeting. The plan overseen by Mrs. Betsy George, the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services in conjunction with PBK Architects, has been an ongoing project since January 2019. The plan is expected to cover facility needs in the District over the next 10 to 15 years with some projects more than 15+ years out.
The projects include building improvement of school sites and grounds such as; roof repairs, flooring, painting, restrooms, heating and air conditioning, electrical, fire alarms, furniture, plumbing, drinking fountains, exterior lighting and security cameras, cafeteria renovations, and updated intercom/master clock system. Other projects call for renovations or new construction for STEM Centers, libraries, CTE Program areas, Science Labs, pools, Art, Music, Shop, and Special Education Program spaces.
The plan is the result of nine months of gathering input from a variety of stakeholder groups to ensure broad-based participation in the development of the document, as part of the Long Range Facility Master Planning (LRFMP) process. Input was garnered from a District focus group representing all departments, one-on-one meetings and site walks with each Principal, and a Community Leadership Committee (CLC) made up of parents, students, Board of Education members, civic leaders, city representatives, District Administration and VUSD employees. Additionally, two community forums and two special Board meetings were held where all were invited to provide input on facilities and project prioritization. Based on this feedback, the educational specifications in the plan represent a vision for the transformation of VUSD’s schools to modern learning environments and hubs for the communities they serve. The plan was developed on six guiding principles: Student Learning, Innovation and Inspiration, Safety and Security, Indoor/Outdoor Spaces, Community Engagement, and Historical Perspective.
The last time the District underwent a significant facility planning effort was in 1997. Much has changed since then. In 1997, computer labs and fixed computer stations were the norm. Students were expected to learn basic keyboard, programming, and application skills. In 2020, with wireless access and the trend toward a 1:1 a computer environment, the need for dedicated computer labs in schools has decreased significantly.
The last time the District sought a bond was more than 20 years ago, in 1997 when voters approved Measure M.
The full facility master plan and additional information can be found at https://www.venturausd.org/business/BusinessServices/Long-RangeFacilitiesMasterPlan.aspx.
The District is made up of an early childhood education program, 26 elementary, middle, and high schools, with more than 16,000 school-age students, an adult education center, 2,000 staff, and a wealth of parents and community members whom all strive to help our children find their passion—academically and personally. For more information, visit www.venturausd.org or call 805-641-5000.