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Old music building to be razed
1940 Ceres High School building to be razed for classrooms
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The Ceres High music building will be soon be razed for a new classroom wing. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The music building that has been a part of the Ceres High School campus since 1940 will be razed for a six-classroom modular wing - but not before it soon undergoes a hazardous materials cleanup.

Amy Peterman, Ceres Unified School District's Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, said the cleanup will take place during the Presidents' week Feb. 8-15.

The district has concerns about the 75-year-old building - which has only been recently used for storage - containing lead paint as well as asbestos ceiling and floor tiles. West Coast Environmental has a $50,000 contract to do the cleanup of the building, which is located behind the Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"Because of the age of the old building, the District is required to test for hazardous materials and then remove those materials using a very specific procedure conducted by an outside contractor," wrote Peterman in a letter to parents. "There will be a temporary construction fence set up around areas of the building where work is occurring during the removal process, and you will likely see workers in containment suits with respirators who will wear these while working inside and on the roof of the building. Areas within the building will be sealed up while the work is occurring."

She said student health will not be affected by operations. CUSD will have a hazardous management consultant observe the operation and take air sampling tests to verify the removal work is being conducted in accordance with governmental regulations.

The district is unsure of the timeline for demolition but said construction of the modular building will occur simultaneously during demolition and preparing and pouring of the concrete slab. The building will then be lifted and set into place on the slab.

American Modular Systems (AMS) has constructed similar modular classrooms on the Patricia "Kay" Beaver, Lucas, and Hanline elementary school campuses.

"Even though they are modular, they do not look like the old portable buildings," said Peterman.

A preliminary estimate pegs the cost of the new classroom wing at $2.5 million, she said.

The building is expected to be in place before the beginning of the 2016-17 school year this summer.