New year, new digs for Rowe school

RANCHO SANTA FE — With about 700 students and a brand new $37 million state-of-the-art facility, the 2010 school year is “off to a great start,” Superintendent Lindy Delaney said at the Sept. 9 Rancho Santa Fe School District board of directors meeting, the group’s first gathering in the completely rebuilt R. Roger Rowe School.
“It was a great opening,” Delaney said about the first day of classes on Sept. 7. “We’re more than thrilled to be in the position that we’re in.”
There were, however, a few “adjustments” that had to be made, she said.
One problem was traffic during drop off, especially with the kindergarteners. Delaney said many parents want to drop their youngsters as close as possible to the classrooms and then watch them until they disappear.
That desire tends to wane over time, she said, adding that seventh- and eighth-graders will be used to escort the younger students in the morning.
There were also some minor issues with playground crowding, but Delaney said those could be worked out by adjusting the times when students eat and play.
Tim Ireland from C.W. Driver construction said the facility was about 99 percent complete on the first day of school. “It’s mostly very little things that can be done in a couple of weeks,” he said, adding that the project had “the most accelerated schedule” he’d ever experienced.
“I’m amazed this was done in a year,” board member Carlie Headapohl said.
Ireland said he met with the Division of the State Architect, which provides design and construction oversight for all kindergarten through grade 12 schools and community colleges, and didn’t expect any “snags” from that organization.
The official dedication is scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 20 and will be followed with a 5:15 p.m. community concert. Tickets are $50 for the show, which is a fundraiser for the performing arts center, the only building not ready for use on the first day of school.
Fundraising efforts continue for that facility and include the 324 Club, a campaign that allows donors to buy one or more of the 324 seats in the building. Donors will receive a naming plaque that will be placed on the chair. Visit the district website at www.rsf.k12.ca.us for more information.
There will be an update on the performing arts center at the next board meeting, scheduled for Oct. 7 in the school library. Delany will also discuss the school’s standardized test scores and academic performance index.

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