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ADA ramp for Old Bonsall Schoolhouse to have decomposed granite extension

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Not only will the Old Bonsall Schoolhouse have a ramp meeting Americans with Disabilities Act standards, but there will also be a decomposed granite ramp extension which will feather into the galvanized steel ramp.

A 4-0 Bonsall Unified School District board vote Wednesday, Nov. 15, with Pascal Lapoirie absent, approved a public works contract with JMD Landscape Inc. for the decomposed granite extension. The school district will pay the Encinitas-based contractor $1,508.23 for the labor and materials.

“This is wonderful,” 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 have in our community a piece of American history,” Clevenger said. “We have to make sure that all members of our community can access this.”

The April 17 BUSD board meeting included a 4-0 vote with Michael Gaddis absent to approve a construction contract with TMP Services, which is based in Riverside, to install the galvanized steel ramp and railings. The ramp measures 12 feet by four feet.

The extension will add two feet of stabilized tan decomposed granite, which is sometimes called “desert gold.” Two contractors submitted proposals to the school district. The bid by JMD Landscape Inc. had the lower cost.

“All of our community can access this gem,” Clevenger said. “As soon as we have this I’m confident we’ll be holding an open house.”

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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