Cardiff school improvements nearing completion

Following the passage of Measure GG in 2016, the district has been working hard to upgrade the Cardiff School campus.
Following the passage of Measure GG in 2016, the district has been working hard to upgrade the Cardiff School campus.

Cardiff School District recently announced the near completion of some improvements at Cardiff School, according to a news release. By the end of March 2021 Cardiff School students will finally have access to the new lunch area, hard court, basketball court and ever-popular wall ball courts.

“Students and staff have been watching the construction of these key areas for weeks and our kids can’t wait to be able to spread out and play on this beautiful new part of the campus,” said Principal Julie Parker.

Recent improvements include the addition of a new exterior lighting and security system throughout the campus. Landscaping is also underway, including grass, boulders, native and drought-tolerant plants and grasses, assorted trees, including those that will bear fruit.

Adjacent to the front of the campus, Montgomery Avenue is being connected by a new sidewalk to the front pick-up/drop-off area. The steps to the outdoor seating area adjacent to the school’s playfields have recently been finished. Completing these projects creates an ADA walkway from Montgomery to the playfields and play apparatus, and also brings the district one step closer to having public access to the school’s outdoor recreation areas.

Following the passage of Measure GG in 2016, the district has been working hard to create the Cardiff School campus that the students, staff, and community deserve. The old classrooms and portables have been replaced with new, state-of-the-art classrooms, which have been occupied by K-2 students since January 2021. A re-grading of the campus and the completion of various ADA sidewalks and entrances have helped improve accessibility.

A new outdoor area at Cardiff School.

The school’s playfields have been restructured to create one contiguous, large, grassy field instead of the previous two separate fields, doubling the student play space during recess periods and providing a more functional field area for after-hours community outdoor recreation. To further enhance the outdoor recreational utility, a new drainage system was installed to address the issue of ponding within the school’s playfields and adjacent areas during heavy rains. Seeding will soon be completed on a large section of the north playfield in anticipation of an August 2021 start to the new school year and future re-opening of the playfields to the public.

“We are extremely proud that our school has been a hub of the Cardiff community for over 100 years. We are happy with the recent progress being made and we look forward to reopening the Cardiff School playfields, playground and hard court area for the students and community to enjoy for decades to come,” said Board President Siena Randall.

Two anticipated project elements were started and await completion. These include the partially constructed pick-up/drop-off area, which will ultimately help traffic flow and create a safe loading zone for students, and the partial construction of the brand new multipurpose room. The former Cardiff multipurpose room, while poorly situated in the middle of the old campus, was nonetheless heavily used by both the school and the community. The multipurpose room is now in the front of the campus, a location that provides greater safety for students as it can be secured separately from classrooms and has direct public access to designated, off-street parking.

The district continues to work to resolve all outstanding issues regarding the school’s recreation area in order to bring the remaining project elements to completion. This includes continuing to work with state and federal authorities to allow for the completion of the campus. The district remains committed to maintaining after hours public access to the playfields and recreation areas as it evaluates all available options to resolve the 1993 grant agreement issues in a manner that upholds its educational responsibilities.

“We look forward to the day when the school is fully completed,” Superintendent Jill Vinson said. “We are passionate about our responsibility to provide a safe, high-quality learning environment for the students we have the privilege of serving. We are deeply appreciative of the support of our Cardiff families and the greater Cardiff community throughout this project.” — Cardiff School District news release