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BURBANK : Architect to Seek Funds for Schools

July 23, 1993|ED BOND

The Burbank school board has hired an architect to find state grant money to upgrade and modernize buildings throughout the school district.

District officials hope some of the grant money may be used to help pay for the anticipated $91-million cost to renovate the two public high schools.

The architect's job involves finding grant money from a variety of state sources to help bring school buildings up to code. Ruhnau Ruhnau Todd Associates of Riverside is the architect.

"They may still be some pretty good buildings, structurally sound, but the present-day standards aren't really there," said David Ruhnau, president of the architectural firm that will be putting together a preliminary application to the state during the next month.

That application includes basic information such as the age of school buildings, the size of classrooms and the number of students. In later stages of the process, Ruhnau's firm will be conducting inspections of school property to assess schools' needs and determine where the district may qualify.

Handicapped access, energy conservation measures, improved lighting, windows and entrances are some of the areas of concern for which the state may be willing to provide grant money to upgrade the schools, Ruhnau said.

The renovation of Burbank and John Burroughs high schools, which date to the 1920s and may qualify for some of the grant money, is a high priority for the school district. Board President Elena Hubbell said many other renovations in the district that are needed will have to be tackled in phases because of a lack of funding.

"I don't want to do anything more than we can fairly well pay for," Hubbell said.

Ruhnau Ruhnau Todd is being paid $12,000 to handle the application process. Some of that money may also be reimbursed through the grant money the district might receive, said Richard Tighe, assistant district superintendent of business services.

Ruhnau said that his firm was handling similar applications for 15 school districts throughout the state.

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