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School Board Delays Middle School Construction Again

A new call for bids will go out in April.

School Board Delays Middle School Construction Again

Though some funds from the $350 million Measure TT bond approved in 2008 were earmarked for a new Sierra Madre middle school, students still have no new permanent classrooms. And it doesn't look like they will for a while yet.

The Pasadena Unified School District on Tuesday decided to delay the construction of the middle school after bids for the $22.5-million project came in way over budget, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The board initially got only six bids from eight prequalified contractors, but will now put out a new call for bids to a wider range of contractors in April, the Times report said.

The new campus will have 22 classrooms, a computer lab, two science labs, a gym, library cafeteria and a parking area, according to plans ( see the proposed site plan on the Measure TT Bond website).

But for now, students will continue attending classes in trailers.

The new construction bids are just one in a series of delays and bad news for the project, which has already had to go through a series of cutbacks due to budget cuts and questioning by parents about transparency and budgets that seemed askew to them.

School board officials explained this latest delay was all about fiscal responsibility.

"I'm sorry as can be that the middle school has taken so long to build," said board president Renatta Cooper, as reported by the Times, "but we can't afford to spend more on it than it should cost. We have to be wise fiscal stewards."

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