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.