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New School Planned For Copperopolis

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Mark Twain plans a new school for Copperopolis

The Mark Twain Union Elementary School District Board of Trustees got a chance to see what direction parents and community members think the district should take at its meeting Thursday.

A Facility Master Plan Committee met three times in past months and presented a list of projects the group feels need to be completed in the next few years. Trustees unanimously approved the committee´s recommendations.

Topping the list is a new gymnasium for the Mark Twain Elementary School campus in Angels Camp. Parent and committee member Patti Spence said the facility has been needed for a long time.

“It´s about time the kids get that new gym,” Spence said.

Superintendent Rick Brewer said the district has told architects to submit proposals for the 10,000-square-foot joint-use gym with an eye toward saving money. If previously approved plans can be used or just slightly modified to fit the Angels Camp campus, both time and money will be saved.

Another project suggested by the committee is the construction of a new school in the Copperopolis area. The district has property where the school will be located on Copper Cove Drive.

The school would initially be a fourth- through eighth-grade campus that would alleviate crowded conditions at Copperopolis Elementary School, Brewer said.

“We´re maxed out at Copper,” Brewer said Monday. Two new relocatable classrooms were added to the site over the summer and that´s all that will fit, he added.

The district hopes to see the new school completed in 2007.

Brewer said the district is looking at placing a general obligation bond on the March 2004 ballot to help pay for projects.

Funding options for the Mark Twain gym also include possible grant funds from Calaveras County and the City of Angels because the facility would be used for the whole community, Brewer said.

Trustee Diane Bateman said the bond is needed for both the Angels Camp and Copperopolis communities and she believes both will rally to support the district.

“The bottom line is that it´s for our children,” Bateman said.

The proposed gym carries a price tag of about $3.6 million. Bateman said district officials are interviewing potential architects for the gym this week.

“We´re moving slowly but surely on this,” she said.

Brewer said trustees may act to put the bond measure on the March ballot at the November meeting.

Calaveras Enterprise story by Mike Taylor. For more Calaveras news, click: