BRAWLEY – The tentative design plan for Brawley Elementary School District’s (BESD) new middle school to be built at the La Paloma property on Malan Street was presented to school board members at their April 25 meeting.
After three meetings with a design committee made up of members of BESD staff and the Brawley community, contractor Jimmy Sanders was ready to present a tentative plan to the board.
The proposed school will be located on Malan Street, directly south of Hidalgo Elementary School. Plans include at least 28 classrooms with eight buildings, a gym, a multipurpose cafeteria, and a STEM (science, technology,engineering and math) lab. The new school will incorporate sixth through eighth grade students, to help alleviate the high student population problems at the lower grade elementary schools.
Sanders said all 20 acres that BESD purchased will be used in the construction. The school will be built with the latest “smart school” technology to support the growing need for more technology, he said.
The City of Brawley has also approved the construction of the school, as long as the district pays for the extension of Caesar Chavez Street.
Both board members Kathy Prior and Gloria Santillan raised concerns about the number of classrooms in the plan. Prior was in particular concerned about the proposed plan to use portable classrooms at a brand new school instead of just building another wing of permanent classrooms.
“I’d like to see more classrooms, if you plan on having portables,” said Prior. “Why not, instead of planning on portables, plan for the growth with classrooms?”
Sanders assured the board that another classroom wing can be added if need be.
The board and Superintendent Jaime Silva stated they would like to have copies of the design sent to each BESD school site as well as Brawley City Hall for public viewing.
The plans are not finalized yet, and still need to be presented and approved by the state in August.