DUSD Sidewalk Project Moves Ahead

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Submitted by Denair Unified School District

The beautification project that will add almost 700 feet of sidewalk and landscaping along the north side Monte Vista Avenue behind Jack W. Lytton Stadium is about to kick into high gear, Superintendent Aaron Rosander told Denair school board trustees Thursday night.

The project is a partnership between the Denair Unified School District and Stanislaus County. Supervisor Vito Chiesa, who represents the Denair area, arranged for a local company to donate the concrete work. The school district will install the irrigation system, grass and shrubbery.

Rosander said there will be a community fundraising effort to help pay for the district’s piece of the project, estimated to be about $5,000.

Grading of the strip of land already has occurred. Rosander expects the concrete to be poured sometime after Thanksgiving, depending upon the weather.

The new 5-foot sidewalk will connect with an existing walkway that now ends at the intersection of Lester Road and Monte Vista. It will provide a safer route to and from the stadium, which hosts football games and other community events.

At Thursday night’s board meeting, Rosander also updated trustees on proposed unification of Denair Elementary School and Denair Academic Avenues, a charter school that shares the elementary campus.

Principal Sara Michelena, who oversees both schools, has had initial discussions with teachers and other employees as well as parents, Rosander said. The concept, he said, is to “take the best of both campuses” and combine them into a single, high-performing charter school.

Rosander cited D2A’s enriched language and fine arts programs and DES’s music and traditional academic offerings as strengths that would be retained on a unified campus. Together, the schools have about 420 students.

He said parents and community members will be invited to a meeting before winter break at which the tenets of the new program will be laid out and questions can be asked.

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