The News

New school boosts Southwest Fresno image

After struggling from decades of neglect Southwest Fresno is transforming with the new Gaston Middle School and a modern overhaul of nearby Edison High.
Around 850 seventh and eighth graders and some 65 faculty members and staff will grace the halls of Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School when construction work wraps up in August.

Franchisors have sights set on Fresno area

Several national companies have their eyes on Fresno for expansion. All they need is a handful of willing entrepreneurs to set up shop.
National Franchise Day on March 4 recognized the nearly one million franchised businesses operating in the United States, from restaurants, hotels and gas stations to car dealers, retail stores and repair services.

Apartment rehab spruces up Fresno’s ‘Sin City’

Rehabilitation of the San Ramon Apartments signals a big step forward in Fresno’s goal of transforming the El Dorado Park neighborhood — often referred to as Sin City — into a vibrant and safe community.
Zumwalt Construction Inc. has finished upgrading the San Ramon Apartments within El Dorado Park near Bulldog Stadium. Apartment renters at San Ramon that had been moved out during construction are scheduled to move back in on March 22.

Water contractors hope for a wet spring

The National Weather Service has published a map showing the likelihood of wet weather in California from March 24-30. Other sources say it looks good for early April too.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. forecaster John Lindsey confirms the opinion for Central California, saying “The long-range models suggest a return to wet and unsettled weather by the middle of next week. At this time, rain may develop by March 25.”

Homebuilders consider ‘purple pipe’ future

Some believe costs of recycled water prohibitive
Proposed legislation by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles would require recycled water for irrigation at newly constructed homes and commercial buildings in cities that have recycled water facilities or are planning to construct them.
It would include Clovis, which has a recycled water system for public areas, and Fresno, which is planning recycled water infrastructure.

Massage Envy plans four Fresno spas, creating 100 jobs

Massage Envy, a national chain of spa clinics, is preparing to open a new Fresno clinic with plans for three more Fresno clinics in the works.
At full build out, the chain would employ more than 100 people in Fresno.
Massage Envy Spa will hold a grand opening celebration for its newest clinic at 1170 E. Champlain Drive #103 in the Piazza Del Fiore shopping center at noon on March 13.

Marketing plan in works for Sequoia, Kings Canyon parks

When Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks’ new Superintendent Woody Smeck looked over the latest visitor spending study from 2012, he knew he was sitting on something magical.
But with no strategic plan or recognizable brand to rally around, Smeck and fellow officials are now coordinating on a vision to make the parks even more visible for people coming to the region.

Coastal firm plans Visalia asphalt plant

Grover Beach-based Papich Construction plans to build a new asphalt batch plant in the Visalia Industrial Park. The project is the subject of a public hearing March 24. The plant would be built on 18 acres on Sunnyview Avenue. Papich supplies asphalt to large public works projects like the Highway 99 widening now underway in Tulare County.

Peak Potential

China Peak, new owner endure drought with optimism

Even with California’s dry winter, China Peak ski resort near Huntington Lake is still a sight more breathtaking now than it was several years ago.
Since acquiring the popular ski resort long known as Sierra Summit in 2010, owner Tim Cohee has invested more than $2.2 million to upgrade its image and create a better experience for all who visit the mountain.

Go-karts near green flag at Sierra Vista Mall

Competitive juices will flow when indoor go-kart racing takes off this spring inside the old Gottschalks building at the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis.
The store, vacant since July 2009, will have a very different look with go-karts zipping along a meandering racetrack. The Clovis City Council last year approved the project and construction of the racecourse is nearly complete.