Village News Reporter
The Bonsall Unified School District board approved a construction contract with TMP Services to install a ramp meeting Americans with Disabilities Act standards at the Old Bonsall Schoolhouse.
The BUSD board vote to approve the contract was 4-0 with Michael Gaddis absent. TMP Services, which is based in Riverside, will be paid $7,305.61 for the work.
“We’re very excited about that,” BUSD superintendent Joseph Clevenger said.
The white clapboard schoolhouse on Old River Road opened Aug. 26, 1895, and at the time, it was called Mount Fairview School. The first teacher, Elsie Averill, was hired at $60 per month and Nettie Dusing was appointed “janitoress” at a salary of $4 per month. Funding made construction of a larger building possible in 1920, and the original schoolhouse was moved to behind the new school.
The 1895 schoolhouse deteriorated over the following decades and demolition was planned in the 1960s. Norm Sullivan was the Bonsall Union School District superintendent at the time, and he worked with members of the Bonsall Lions Club to take over the schoolhouse. The Lions leased the building and moved it to its current location, and the Old Bonsall Schoolhouse became a meeting hall. The Lions Club also performed restoration work on the schoolhouse building.
Although the Bonsall Lions Club folded in 2004, the Bonsall Education Foundation was founded in 2008. In February 2015, the school district which became the Bonsall Unified School District in 2014 approved a memorandum of understanding which reaffirmed that the Bonsall Education Foundation will be the steward of the Old Bonsall Schoolhouse for restoration purposes.
“We truly have a piece of history in the Bonsall Schoolhouse,” Clevenger said.
BUSD staff solicited proposals to install the ADA ramp at the Old Bonsall Schoolhouse and received two responses. The district also contacted other school districts in the area to inquire about the potential availability of used ramps, although none were available.
TMP Services had the low bid. TMP will provide labor, materials, and equipment to perform work at the Old Bonsall Schoolhouse. The ramp and railings will be galvanized steel. The ramp will measure 12 feet by 4 feet.
“We have a chance to connect our students and our community to one of the fundamental pieces of our country,” Clevenger said. “We’re looking forward to the community coming and seeing just how far our school district has come.”
Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].