The way is paved for court resurfacing

The Laguna Beach Unified School District staff has been given the go-ahead to solicit bids for resurfacing the tennis courts across Park Avenue from Laguna Beach High School.

The school board voted 5 to 0 on Tuesday to allow staff to receive bids for design and construction of post-tension slabs for five of the six courts — one court already has post-tension, in which steel cables within a concrete slab are pulled to a certain degree to help prevent cracking.

The project is estimated to cost $620,000, with the city paying 70% and the district picking up the remaining 30%.

Part of the city's $435,000 suggested contribution is a five-year advance totaling $125,000 for capital improvements related to a joint-use agreement between the city and district, a district staff report said.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to allow the advance at its Sept. 3 meeting.

In addition to the post-tension surface, the project includes installing wiring for future lights at two of the courts and replacing existing fences and a gate with a vinyl-coated chain-link fence and windscreen, a district staff report said.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board approved renewal of the comprehensive joint-use agreement that governs facility use between the city and district.

The agreement is good for five more years, the staff report said.

Board members also approved individual joint-use agreements for the tennis courts, fields, gymnasiums and community pool, which is next to the tennis courts.

The city will contribute $21,500 annually for field and gym use, according to the staff report.

The City Council and the district board will appoint two members, for a total of four, to a committee that will meet every year to discuss site-specific issues such as repairs, maintenance and larger capital projects, the staff report said.


Increased enrollment

Thurston Middle School has seen a steady increase in enrollment in the past seven years, and the trend is expected to continue, Principal Jenny Salberg told board members at Tuesday's meeting.

The school is expected to have 811 students this year, Salberg said, which is 150 more than in 2006-07.

"There's not a glaring cause [for the enrollment increase]," Salberg said. But as a result, two teachers will share classrooms this year, she said.

One option is bringing in portable classrooms, which could occur as soon as winter break, district facilities director Ted Doughty said.

A longer-term solution could be building added classroom space, a district staff report said.

A possible location for the portable is on one of the basketball courts, to avoid having to do too much grading on campus, Doughty said.

"There's going to be a whole lot of angry P.E. teachers if you put a portable on a basketball court," board member Ketta Brown said. "It would make the most fiscal sense to lease [portables], then sit down and figure out if we have enough money to build added classrooms."

Board member Theresa O'Hare favors a longer-term solution.

"I was the co-chair on the bond and we made a promise not to put portables," O'Hare said of the 2001 bond measure passed by Laguna Beach voters that earmarked money for facility improvements. "I think we owe it to the taxpayers to look at all the avenues before pursuing portables."

The board didn't take any action. The Thurston enrollment update was informational only.

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