The Liberty Union High School District is getting a new building for its facilities, maintenance and operations department (FMOD).
Since last November, construction has been ongoing to move this sprawling department off Liberty High’s campus, to the corner of Oak Street and Larkspur Lane in Brentwood. The move will give the FMOD employees more room to work on buses and maintenance vehicles, among other tasks. Fondly called a “bus barn,” the large building is slated for completion this September.
“We are excited that this is happening,” said District Superintendent Eric Volta. “We wanted to upgrade what we have now to last for the next 50 or 60 years.”
Volta added that FMOD’s 40 employees don’t currently have a break room, training center or adequate space to perform their work.
“All of our maintenance and transportation needs will all be on one site,” Volta said. “Our mechanics will all be able to work in a real garage on multiples buses, and perform maintenance on mowers and all the other things that go into having three school sites. We are excited about a lot of the improvements that will be happening on Oak and Second streets over the next few years.”
The project is courtesy of the $122 million bond secured by Measure U, which voters passed in 2016. The bus barn project will cost $8.1 million. In addition to Liberty’s bus barn, Measure U monies will fund 16 classrooms and additional parking at each of the three school sites. Heritage High is slated for a culinary arts building with a greenhouse, Liberty will welcome a new aquatic center, and Oakley’s Freedom High receives a new performing arts theater. Beyond those higher-profile projects, a laundry list of repairs, upgrades and security features will be implemented across the district.
“When we passed that bond three years ago, we wanted to somewhat equalize our school sites,” Volta explained. “Liberty is unique in that it needs a lot more to make it equal to the other sites ... We decided if we moved transportation to the corner, we would have more room on campus for parking and an aquatic center.”
Paul Melloni is the district’s director of facilities and one of the employees directly benefiting from the new building. He said maintenance work will get easier and more convenient, once his department is able to move into the barn.
“The new space will be a three-bay building, instead of a one-bay like we have now,” Melloni said. “This will improve our operations because we won’t be on campus anymore, in the mix with the kids. And Liberty gets a larger campus.”
Melloni said the project is currently on track, despite some delays over the winter, caused by rain. When it opens, the completed project will include two buildings: the large bus and transportation building and the maintenance building. The department handles operations for all three schools in the district.
For more information on Measure U and how the funds are being spent by the district, visit ca01001129.schoolwires.net/domain/1673.