Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat

Crisis was seemingly averted Tuesday night when the Sonora Union High School District Board of Trustees approved an amended bond construction schedule that won't destroy the home football season and isn't expected to incur much greater cost.

The timeline still hinges on the approval of the California Environmental Quality Act initial study for the $16.7 million upcoming projects - three building renovations, track and field resurfacing and a new aquatic center.

At the meeting, which was held in the school library to accommodate a large crowd, members of the public raised concerns about the priority of athletic projects and mistrust some feel toward the administration.

Ultimately, a new construction phasing schedule was approved that overlapped more projects than before among the district's bond projects from 2012's $23 million Measure J.

The first project will now be the Humanities building's complete internal renovation - on which demolition work has already begun. Construction will begin in September and should be completed in July 2015.

The originally estimated $1.7 million track-and-field renovation is slated for mid- to late October. The last home football game is scheduled Oct. 24.

That project was earlier going to overlap the football season, forcing what would have been home games to be played at other schools. That phase of the project was originally slated to begin last spring but was delayed by the state approval process.

The project includes resurfacing the artificial football turf, installing an all-weather six-lane track and upgrades to the stadium area, including greater accessibility for the disabled and for emergency access.

For the complete story, see the July 23, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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