Modernized school improves learning environment

December 14, 2002

As a member of the Bond Oversight Committee, it is my pleasure to

spotlight the modernization that was done at Bret Harte Elementary

School. I chose to write about Harte, a school that is near and dear

to my heart (no pun intended), because both my sons attended this

school and I served as PTA president there for two years.

For those of you unfamiliar with Harte, the school boasts an

attendance of more than 700. Even prior to modernization, it was a


school that always had a lot going on, with academic and

extracurricular activities abounding. The faculty and staff are a

close-knit group that works together as an amazingly cohesive team.

They are led by principal Diane Berger.

Harte was part of the phase two modernization program that was

completed in June 2001. There are a total of 31 classrooms. The main

building itself has 22 totally modernized classrooms in addition to

the administrative offices. All of the fourth- and fifth-grade

students are housed in a "village" together in nine bungalows, four

of which were completely modernized and three that were partially


The basic scope of work was done and encompassed such things as

renovations of restrooms, replacement of windows, technology

infrastructure and air conditioning.

The additional items completed at this school were:

* Interior finishes that included paint, carpet, kitchen flooring

and tackboards.

* Administrative offices reconfigured and remodeled and a

handicapped access restroom installed in the nurse's office.

* Building exterior repainted.

* Lunch shelter seismically retrofitted.

* Playground slurry-sealed and re-striped.

* Blinds, window coverings and stage drapes installed.

* Technology connectivity including cabling and outlets


After a year and a half of living in the modernized facilities,

what do Mrs. Berger and the staff have to say about their new school?

Having a modernized school improves morale of teachers, staff and the

students who come here to learn. It makes you proud of your school

and the community for their support.

What's probably one of the most, if not the most appreciated new

feature? You guessed it, the ever-popular air conditioning!

Having a temperature-controlled environment makes teaching and

learning so much more efficient.

Especially important to note is that all of the new floors,

classrooms, etc., are being meticulously maintained by their

dedicated custodian, Lou Bonetti, so everything will stay looking new

for a long time to come.


Community Oversight

Committee Member

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