Gym reconstruction project at fire-scarred Ensign Intermediate School moves forward

A reconstruction project for Ensign Intermediate School’s locker rooms and gym, which were damaged by a fire last year, is taking steps forward.
(File Photo)

Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustees approved a framework Tuesday night for moving forward with work on Ensign Intermediate School’s locker rooms and gym, which were damaged by a fire last year.

The board, with members Judy Franco and Vicki Snell opposed, approved a new showering facility standard that calls for one shower per 400 students. The decision came after a report led by Tim Marsh, district administrative director of facilities and support services, on the reconstruction process for the locker rooms and gym.

The project at the Newport Beach school will include reconfiguring lockers in the girls’ and boys’ facilities, upgraded restrooms, painting and work to make the area compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As the district gathered input on the project, it learned from school administrators that students don’t use the showers often and that school sites prefer storage space instead of showers, Marsh said.

Administrators agreed that while showers aren’t in high demand, there is a need for some.

During the board’s hour-long discussion, Snell opposed creating multiple showers after hearing that students don’t use them.

Marsh said he hopes contracts will be awarded by the next school board meeting to move along with the Ensign project.

Two teenage boys were arrested in April in connection with the fire.

Students lost personal possessions in the blaze, including running shoes and PE uniforms. An online donation page was set up afterward.

In other business Tuesday, the board unanimously approved entering an agreement with Cumming, an Aliso Viejo-based firm, to oversee cost management services for the sports field project for Corona del Mar High and Middle schools.

The cost is budgeted at a maximum of $19,900.

The board approved a resolution in October for a project option that includes two synthetic turf fields, one rubber track and 80-foot light poles. Seating capacity would be 664 in the main field’s bleachers and 200 at the second field.

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