News

School board OKs first round of Measure I1 bond sales

New elementary school, budget revise also discussed at Tuesday meeting

The Pleasanton school board unanimously authorized the first issuance and sale of Measure I1 bonds Tuesday night, a move that will allow the school district to start work on a number of projects this academic year.

“We are moving ahead!” school board president Joan Laursen said after the vote at Tuesday’s meeting, the first of the 2017-18 school year.

The district anticipates proceeds from the $72 million initial bond series will be available in October, PUSD deputy superintendent of business services Micaela Ochoa said. That will allow the district to start work this school year on a list of projects set by the board in June.

Funds will be put toward the Lydiksen Elementary School rebuild; certificates of participation debt payoff; modernizations qualifying for state funding; infrastructure, safety and security projects; staff and student technology, and a new elementary school feasibility study.

While the district starts on projects from the initial bond series, PUSD stakeholders will work as a committee to prioritize remaining ones, creating a Measure I1 and facility master plan that will include timelines and budget and project details by school.

Approved by Pleasanton voters in November, Measure I1 is expected to generate an estimated $270 million in revenue for school facilities projects.

The bond measure also came up as part of a report and discussion on the district's property and current environment.

The report included an overview of PUSD's owned and leased land and facilities, including portables; current student enrollment figures, current guidelines on the size of district schools, and information on the costs affiliated with operating an elementary school.

Besides its school properties, the district owns the Neal property -- a vacant 13.2-acre parcel at 1689 Vineyard Ave. -- and has a lease with the city of Pleasanton on the upper Bernal Fields property.

Elementary school enrollment districtwide is at 6,556 students as of Aug. 1, Ochoa said. Middle school enrollment is 3,919 and 5,329 for PUSD high schools.

The estimated administrative and overhead costs affiliated with operating a new elementary school total $838,138.

The board’s discussion on the report was a precursor to a future study session that would delve into the considerations for a new elementary school. A date for that has not yet been set.

“We want to make sure we’re moving forward together, and the best way I know to do that is to have a deep conversation about the issue,” said PUSD superintendent David Haglund, Ed.D., in his first board meeting since taking the helm July 3.

Trustees expressed an eagerness to have that discussion.

“We should have the study session sooner rather than later,” trustee Valerie Arkin said. “One of the things passed in the bond was a new elementary school and I think we do need to proceed in that direction, but a lot of particulars have to be sorted out. I don’t want to see this impede what voters approved, what our demographers said that we need two new elementary schools at buildout.”

Board member Jamie Yee Hintzke said she’s looking forward to the study session.

“As much as I’d like to hear the public comment, I’m dying for the board to have that in-depth conversation first because we have not had it,” she said.

In other business

* Haglund spoke at the beginning of the meeting about his first several weeks as superintendent, expressing gratitude for those that have welcomed him and for staff who have “helped me find bathrooms and cupboards I’ve needed access to.”

The former Santa Ana schools administrator started working July 3 after being formally selected by the board in June from over 50 applicants.

* Ochoa presented the 45-day budget revise, an update to the district's 2017-18 projected budget based on the adopted state budget.

While the budget adopted by the board in June anticipated $145.4 million in general fund revenue, that figure has since grown by about $2 million. Ochoa said most of that amount is associated with one-time dollars from the state that will be paid this school year.

There have also been a few expenditure adjustments, including the addition of $20,000 for overtime for new software implementation.

* The board announced several appointments that were made in closed session Tuesday.

Pam Vandekamp, Ed.D., was selected as PUSD’s director of assessment and accountability. She most recently worked in San Lorenzo Unified School District as its coordinator of state and federal programs.

PUSD behavior specialist Ashley Sprader was also named interim Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) coordinator, and business services coordinator Myla Grasso was named interim director of maintenance, operations and transportation.

Also in closed session, the board approved settlement agreements for reimbursements totaling $204,856 and passed a confidential resolution authorizing Haglund or a designee “to issue a notice of intention to dismiss and statement of charges against a permanent certificated teacher.”

No additional details were provided.

Comments

16 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 9, 2017 at 10:31 am

More money for a sanctary-school-district-supporting-board? What a sham...and a scam. That's your answer for everything...create a bond; raise a tax. Zero fiscal control. If you had any shame, you would feel it. But, you don't, so you won't.


1 person likes this
Posted by Intellect
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I would first try to be rational here. The school board made a statement to put its position out there nothing changed on the ground. Also this bond has fiscal oversight, you may be frustated that your tax bill is going up, but it is for a good reason, it is a good school district even with the musical chair.


8 people like this
Posted by Carrie
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 10, 2017 at 9:20 pm

I went to register my 9th grader at Amador this week, and I was really shocked at the state of their facilities: the paint was chipping off the buildings, wood rot on beams, the gym clearly didn't have a working A/C and is so OLD. When you compare our facilities with schools in neighboring cities, it's really an embarrassment. I hope the bond money will address some of this.


6 people like this
Posted by rrr
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 10, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Carrie, the district should be maintaining the facilities but they are not. I don't want our bond money to go into building something that is not maintained and then has to be completely replaced due to negligence.


7 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2017 at 10:50 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Carrie,

I agree. Amador looks pretty bad. I wonder if they have problems with mold. Seems like a district like Pleasanton would have better maintained schools.


2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 11, 2017 at 8:59 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

They have to let it run down a little, that way they can ask for more money.

That is the way governments work.

And there are no gyms that actually use their AC. Why would they cool down something that is rarely used?


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 11, 2017 at 11:19 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

There once was a requirement that 3% of the budget had to be set aside for deferred maintenance. The state suspended that requirement for a time during the recession. Either way, you have to actually spend the money for facilities to be properly maintained, and in many cases that did not happen (have the 3% reserve to meet state requirements and then never spend it, making it a one time set aside rather than an ongoing hit to budgets strained by contributions to retirement plans).

In the meantime, the enrollment numbers were provided Tuesday night (as of August 1, 2017). Since the report in October 2016, Elementary went from 6,116 to 6,556 (+440); Middle from 3,715 to 3,919 (+204); and High school from 4,937 to 5,329 (392) with Amador at 2,841 students.

That is total growth of 1,036 . . . 980 students more than the demographer predicted in last year's report. I have questions in to the district about how this growth is being accommodated and particularly whether a variety of lab spaces for science, technology, music, etc. are being closed for classrooms. This growth will continue to stress overcrowded facilities. While bond funds will be used to fix older facilities, but unless the deferred maintenance fund is used, they will fall into disrepair again in the not too distant future.

We may keep showing up well on ranking systems like Niche, but that is because of dedicated students, parents, and site staffs who continue to do their best despite the crowding and lack of proper educational learning spaces.


2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Just because the state can suspend something, doesn't mean a district should. Especially a district likes ours.

That's just passing the buck for fiscal mismanagement.

I'm so tired of excuses from these bureaucrats and politicians.


6 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Aug 11, 2017 at 4:11 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

So the demographer predicted that we were supposed to get 56 additional kids this school year, and we ended up with 1036.

The prediction is off by 95%.

How much do demographers make to be so ridiculously wrong?

In a private company, if someone in a position to predict sales was off by this much, they would no longer find themselves in that position.

Geez.


9 people like this
Posted by Bad demographers are never fired
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

The demographer a few years ago included entirely fake housing subdivisions including supposed houses to be built on land under water on Zone 7 detention ponds between Martin Ave and Stanley Blvd. this was so PUSD could fool the Board and public to refinance district loans to increase the payments by 5 million. Now we taxpayers are paying back these loans because PUSD charged the taxpayers the balance due!!! The bonds are paying for these loans/ COPS. If Davis is the demographer, no one should believe anything they publish. It is all fake. And PUSD wii never fire them.


3 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 11, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Flightops is a registered user.

It's also good to defer needed maintenance and keep that money instead in reserve so that the school board can keep paying off lawyers and fired superintendents = our tax dollars at work!


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