Hillview Campus 30 Percent Finished

More than 1,000 apply for 19 teaching positions.

It was back-to-school night for the Menlo Park City School District Board Tuesday, as members received updates on construction of the new Hillview Middle School and learned something about its new hires.

“We’ve had a busy summer,” said facilities director Ahmad Sheikholeslami.

Work on each of the campus' seven buildings is either on schedule or ahead of schedule for completion by September 2012, he said. Steel structures are up for four of the buildings, with the remaining three soon to be in place.

As sketches show, the campus "is like a big mall,” he said. “Everything is interconnected.”

At 30 percent completion, the project has cost $11.4 million, with its participants bringing "probably hundreds of years of experience to this project," he said.

The rapidly growing school population will begin moving into its sprawling new campus by August 2012, shedding the confines of its presently inadequate structure. Demolition of the existing building is slated to take place in the same month.

A $91 million facilities bond to finance upgrades and new construction in 2006 sailed through with 70 percent of the vote.

In other business, the district welcomed 19 new teachers to the staff this school year.

More than 1,000 teachers applied for the positions -- 888 at the elementary level and 230 for the middle school, human resources manager Kathryn Chistopherson said.  

Also, the council unanimously approved a new fund balance policy set by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. The goal is to improve the usefulness of the fund balance report by providing more clearly defined categories that are easier for users to understand and apply.

The board meets next on Tuesday, Sept. 13.


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