Griffin Technology Academy announces progress on campus construction project – Times-Herald

Griffin Technology Academy announced Tuesday that its campus construction project — which aims to bring modern facilities to Vallejo and bring a $48 million federally-funded project to the region — is awaiting final approval.

Superintendent Nick Driver of Griffin Technology Academies announced in a press release that final action to secure Proposition 51 funding is making “tremendous” progress.

“GTA has made tremendous strides over the past 12 months and I wanted to share the positive news with our school families, staff and board members, and the wider Vallejo community,” said Driver. “We are committed to breaking new ground and bringing immediate jobs to Vallejo that will provide a safe and conducive environment to fulfill our educational mission as GTA once again commits and invests in Vallejo’s future.”

The final application to the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) was submitted by GTA in late February. The entire application process has taken over five years and, in addition to OPSC, requires five other approvals from state and local agencies, including the City of Vallejo, VCUSD, the Department of Toxic Substances and Controls, the Division of the State Architect, and the California School Finance Authority. VCUSD has not yet opted out, but GTA said it is “confident that they will do so shortly; It is a project that thousands of Vallejo parents, students and community members are dying to see happen.

OPSC staff said they would soon consider recommending GTA’s application for funding to rebuild the MIT Academy campus to the state allocation board. If approved, the state can begin issuing a general debenture for GTA’s new construction and modernization project. GTA said in the press release that “the final funding approval process with the approval of VCUSD could occur as early as June.”

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GTA’s new construction and modernization project is planned for the MIT Academy campus, which serves middle and high school students – both located on the same campus at 2 Positive Place in Vallejo. The project site encompasses approximately 11 acres of the 14-acre MIT Academy campus and would renovate the existing campus by demolishing the existing buildings and portable buildings on the southern portion of the site.

The proposed project includes the construction of two-storey classroom buildings, a science building, an administration building, a multi-purpose building, a gymnasium, a soccer field and other outdoor playgrounds. Site improvements would also include on-site parking, improved vehicle circulation, landscaping, sidewalks and other amenities. The proposed project involves the construction of a total of 45 classrooms.

The proposed project will be managed by the Educational Facilities Group, with Aedis Architects providing all architectural services. VCUSD owns the project site and GTA operates the MIT Academy campus under a long-term lease.

In 2016, California voters passed Proposition 51 – Public School Facility Bonds Initiative – which authorized $9 billion in general debt obligations: $3 billion for new construction and $3 billion for upgrading public school facilities the K-12 class; $1 billion for charter schools and vocational training institutions; and $2 billion for California Community College facilities. Solano County educators, building and trade organizations, corporations and chambers of commerce, and local politicians supported the statewide initiative to build new campus structures and modernize existing ones to meet earthquake, fire, and health hazard standards.

The $48 million earmarked for this Proposition 51 project represents a net inflow of dollars into the Northern Vallejo economy funded by government revenue. The project will be constructed under a project labor agreement using local Napa-Solano construction workers.

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“We welcome GTA’s commitment in entering into a project work agreement for this project. It signals the beginning of a partnership that will leverage the skilled tradesmen and trainees of Napa and Solano County,” said Danny Bernardini, executive director of the Napa-Solano Building and Construction Trades Council. “Considering the career pipeline currently in place at our high schools, pre-teaching schools and adult schools, we hope that one young person in this system will work on this project. We look forward to supporting GTA in their attempt to complete this project.”