OXNARD : Costs Threaten Plans for 4 New Schools


Rising costs may force the Oxnard Elementary School District to scale back plans to build four new schools with $40 million in funds approved by voters in 1988, the district superintendent said Wednesday.

With work started on two schools that will cost $26 million, chances are slight that another two campuses can be built with the remaining money, Supt. Norman R. Brekke said.

“We will probably be lucky to get three schools built,” Brekke said.

Wednesday night, district trustees looked for ways to make a $200,000 modification to the 1,600-student Robert J. Frank Intermediate School without adding to the $16-million building budget.


To be built in east Oxnard’s La Colonia neighborhood, the school was initially supposed to have two computer labs for students. But Brekke said that the concept of assigning computers to a separate lab has become obsolete.

“It’s not educationally efficient to have children leave the class to go to a computer lab,” Brekke said. “The schools of the future will utilize computers much like we’ve utilized textbooks in the past.”

Trustees discussed Wednesday how the school’s architect, Leidenfrost/Horowitz & Associates of Glendale, could change the wiring plans to allow computers in all 45 classrooms at the intermediate school, which is scheduled to open for the 1993-94 school year.

The 1,150-student Emilie Ritchen Elementary School in north Oxnard is scheduled for completion next year. The price is an estimated $10 million.

With the cost of 26 acres of land for the Frank school still undetermined, construction costs for the two new schools will greatly exceed the $20.3 million estimated in 1988 when voters approved the $40-million school bond, said Dr. Ron Weinert, district facilities director.

The cost of the remaining two elementary schools had been estimated at $15.6 million, but Weinert predicted that the remaining funds from the bond issue would pay for only half of one of the schools.