At last weeks SPUHS school board meeting, Michelle Kolbeck gave a short speech about the fact the board had been together for one year. She finished by handing each board member and staff member a “United We Stand” sign indicating that while they don’t always agree they do agree on educating students. Left to right are: Robin Freeman (assistant superintendent) Tina Urias (board member), Michelle Kolbeck (board member), Diana Ponce-Gomez (board member and board president). Alfonso Gamino (superintendent), Chris Wilson (board member), Kelsey Stewart (board member), and Donna Rose (assistant superintendent).

School board sees draft of Master Facilities Plan

July 02, 2014
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula Unified School District Board got a look at a draft of the Master Facilities Plan at last week’s meeting.

Yuri Calderon of the consulting firm Caldwell, Flores and Winters prepared the plan after weeks of meetings with district staff, board members, along with parents and teachers. Calderon noted that another consulting firm had given them survey results indicating very strong voter support for a potential bond measure and for various projects in the master plan.

He said support levels would typically increase as knowledge of the plan is communicated with the community, although the survey indicated initial support was enhanced when voters heard a reduced tax rate. He said a conceptual bond program could generate a similar level of funding over time by reducing the projected tax rate of $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation to $47, with payback terms adjusted from 25 years to 30 years. He said this change generates about $34.2 million toward K-8 projects over time, slightly less than the projected higher tax rate.

The proposed plan estimates that the district will collect approximately $3.1 million in developer fees over the life of the program (2014-2032), including the current fund balance of about $1.2 million.

Calderon said the need to plan for air conditioning improvements at school sites came up repeatedly at school site meetings. Modernization projects at Barbara Webster, Blanchard, Glen City, Bedell, Isbell Middle School and Santa Paula High School have been adjusted to incorporate AC improvements over Phases I and II. To cover the cost of AC a second new classroom wing at Glen City would be moved to Phase III, replacing changes to the SPHS stadium and some of the district’s existing fund balances would be used as well. Several options were also proposed to improving the locker rooms at the Bryden Gym, ranging from $600,000 to $2.4 million.

Calderon said the first phase of the facilities plan would start next year and run through 2020 with an estimated total cost of $35.5 million.

Phase II would start in 2021 and go through 2025, with a total price tag of about $17.3 million. Phase III would run from 2027 to 2035. That cost is put at near $19.2 million.

Board members expressed some concerns over the projected work and timeline. The final Master Facilities Plan will come back to the board at a future meeting.

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