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$50 million construction project kicks off at Ravenswood middle school

Original post made on Mar 12, 2022

Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School's campus will undergo a makeover that's expected to be completed in December 2023.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 10, 2022, 11:58 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2022 at 4:19 pm

Resident is a registered user.

$50,000,000 to update a school with roughly 600 students? Why not give each of those kids/families $50,000, and save the extra $20,000,000 for some updates/modifications to 11 classrooms.

Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 14, 2022 at 9:53 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.

$50M for 11 new classrooms, some new office space and some renovations, Does anyone else think that's insane, Are there any builders out there that can comment on this? What is the price per sq. ft?
With school funds at such a premium surely that money could have been better spent, How about the Ravenswood District School in Belle Haven it's getting by on a few bandaids, some paint and wing and a prayer, and its ranked a 2 out of 10 by Great Schools, Whats wrong with this picture?

Posted by MenloVoter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 15, 2022 at 7:08 am

MenloVoter. is a registered user.


you can thank the California legislature for the cost. A long time ago they passed a law that requires ALL public works projects to be done at "prevailing wage". Prevailing wage is determined by what the local labor unions are being paid. Including their health and welfare. It results in an insane cost for labor for work that could easily be done for 1/3 to 1/2 less in labor costs.

In addition, the state mandates extremely high building standards for the construction of schools. They are built to extremely rigorous seismic and fire standards. Because they are full of children.

Posted by Louis DeZutti
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 15, 2022 at 11:55 am

Louis DeZutti is a registered user.

I know it seems so "obvious" or "reasonable" to use the money in one manner or another. And it is tempting to be on the outside of education and feel "objective" about what kind of job is or isn't being done. It is quite another thing to be in the thick of things and work with the people most affected.
While it might seem rather useless to spend money or remodeling a school, I assure you it's not. We can't keep telling kids that "education matters" when the school they attend is obviously shabby, needing upgrades and remodeling, because that's not what they see when they step onto campus. The physical deterioration of the site that is not being dealt with only tells students that we, as a society, are just lying to them: We don't really mean education matters because we won't even take care of the buildings. That they, the students, really don't matter because we send them to schools that look lousy; the facilities are old and need replacement. That we are just not that concerned. When students walk onto campuses that are in that sort of condition, they certainly don't expect anything else will be better, no matter how hard the teachers work. When these students have siblings in high schools which have the latest facilities; have new buildings, and look new and clean, they have to wonder why they don't. A newer, better site tells students that education does matter and more importantly, so do they. And as with all such projects, money has been carefully allocated for this specific need. If we are concerned with schools getting better budgets, then call or write the State board of Education and tell them to fund all the schools EQUALLY, not just base it on property taxes per district.
And as for getting work done supposedly cheaper: You get what you pay for, AND I see nothing wrong with paying people what they're worth for a job done well. Everyone deserves a living wage.

Posted by MenloVoter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 16, 2022 at 7:16 am

MenloVoter. is a registered user.


You are correct except when it comes to prevailing wages. The work can be done for half the cost of labor and still be paying a living wage. In fact, in the current construction environment, non-union labor is making very good wages. What the prevailing wage laws are designed to do is make union labor "competitive" somewhere. Because outside of public works projects you'll find very little union construction labor. In other words it's just another example of our politicians doing what labor unions want them to do so the politicians continue to get money and support from them.

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