When the Pajaro River Levee broke during heavy winter rains in March, floodwaters rushed into the town of Pajaro, displacing hundreds of residents and businesses.
It also inundated Pajaro Middle School, forcing the school to close while work crews and district officials assessed the damage and began the long process of repair.
A total of 421 students and 14 teachers were suddenly without a school.
But the district scrambled to find them a place to go, and six months later, they are in their temporary classrooms at three different schools. This includes 60 sixth-graders at Hall District Elementary School and 67 at Ohlone Elementary.
The older students are attending Lakeview Middle School, which due to declining enrollment had enough room for them.
The cleanup at Pajaro Middle School wrapped up in June, and cost $23 million, most of which was covered by FEMA. PVUSD is paying $160,000. Work included removing mud and other debris, and then taking out damaged sheetrock and flooring.
Repair plans have been submitted to the California Division of the State Architect. After that agency has approved the plans—expected in January—the project will go out to bid by the end of January.
The Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s construction department told the Board of Trustees Wednesday that the 16-week construction phase is expected to begin in February or March, with students able to return for the 2024-25 school year.