HUNTINGTON BEACH : School Trustees Will Meet Today

The Ocean View School District board will hold a special meeting today to discuss construction problems at one school and to begin the process of selecting a new superintendent.

At the 5:30 p.m. meeting, trustees will consider a recommendation from Supt. Monte McMurray to correct faulty, temporary walls installed a decade ago at Vista View School.

After the public meeting, trustees will hold an executive session to discuss a list of candidates to replace McMurray, who plans to retire in May.

During a recent study of district facilities, state engineers discovered that temporary partitions at Vista View may not be sturdy enough to withstand a strong earthquake.

The crux of the problem is that the partitions are poorly connected to the ceiling, and a strong jolt could force the walls to pull away, or even collapse, engineers concluded.

Ocean View work crews have reinforced the partitions as a temporary solution, until they can be fixed permanently.

McMurray suggests replacing some of the temporary walls with permanent ones while reinforcing others. Additionally, his plan would add four portable classrooms to Vista View, to make up for those that would be lost by reconfiguring the partitions, he said.

The permanent changes are expected to be finished before September. At that time, Vista View, which now houses students from kindergarten through eighth grade, will become a middle school for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Vista View is one of four schools in the district that will be converted into a middle school this fall as part of a sweeping Ocean View reorganization plan.

During the closed session, trustees are expected to meet with Lee Newcomer, a consultant hired to help the district in its search for a new superintendent.

Officials would not identify the candidates or say how many are being considered.

McMurray said board members will interview the candidates this Friday and Saturday and will begin culling the list. The board is scheduled to appoint McMurray's successor the week of April 20, he said.

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