Rowland Unified is getting an early Christmas present. The district has saved more than $10 million in bond money raised to modernize its schools.

"With lower bids and other economies, we've already saved $10.2 million," notes Ruben Frutos, assistant superintendent of administrative services.

Frutos said construction bids have consistently come in lower than expected. It has also found other ways to get the work done more economically.

"We planned for the school renovations to take a year, but we found that our contractors were falling behind schedule when they remodeled the schools section by section," he said.

In the spring of 2009, the school board voted to close two elementary schools because of declining enrollment and the state budget crisis. Administrators debated whether it would be safer and faster to move entire schools to the closed facilities while their buildings were renovated.

"Some teachers thought this was absolutely insane. That the parents wouldn't want to this," Frutos recalled. "But we agreed to transport the affected students to the nearby campuses, and the parents agreed to give it a try."

The results were spectacular. The district's contractors found they could remodel an entire school in only six months.

"It also saved us money because the contractors didn't have to worry about the safety measures necessary when students are around," he added. For entire story, CLICK HERE!