Results from a recent survey gauging local voters about a potential new $120 million bond measure will be shown at the Pleasanton school board meeting on Tuesday night.
The Pleasanton Unified School District first raised the idea last year of placing a proposed property tax on the 2020 primary election ballot that would extend the existing district tax rate when two other bond measures from 1998 and 1997 expire during next year.
Properties within the district are taxed at a rate of $49 per $100,000 of assessed value under the current $270 million Measure I1 bond approved by Pleasanton voters in 2016.
Approximately $145.5 million still has yet to be allocated for the Measure I1 projects list, which includes plans to modernize and expand the Donlon Elementary School site. The district has previously stated that all three high schools would have major science lab upgrades funded by the proposed bond.
A total of 619 interviews were completed for the hybrid telephone and email-to-web survey, which was conducted by a private consulting group between Aug. 23 and Sept. 6.
The resulting 23-page report on the survey stated that “nearly three-quarters of voters believe it is crucial for Pleasanton to have excellent schools even if that means raising taxes,” and “support for a bond measure today hovers around the 55% threshold required to pass; with a slight difference in support between the two amounts tested.”
Three-quarters of respondents rated the statement, “The job Pleasanton Unified School District is doing overall,'' as either “Good” (49%) or “Excellent” (26%), but ranked the district’s management of their budget and voter-approved bond monies less favorably.
Opinions on the district’s budget management skills were nearly split, with 39% answering either “Excellent” or “Good,” and 34% categorizing the district’s job as either “Only Fair” (21%) or “Poor” (13%); the remaining 27% selected “Don’t Know.”
Survey contributors were also divided about PUSD’s performance of bond revenue management; 33% rated the district as either “Good” (28%) or “Excellent” (5%), while 30% selected “Only Fair” (19%) or “Poor” (11%). However, 37% of respondents selected “Don’t Know”, outnumbering either group.
Last month the district completed its second issuance for $90 million of Measure I1 bonds, which sold out almost within hours. The district said the quick transactions and low interest rates were helped by their credit rating and the community’s overall stability and growth of assessed property values.
The board has until early December to decide if another bond measure will be on the March 2020 primary election ballot.
The school board meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday inside the district headquarters at 4556 Bernal Ave.
In other business
* Two major school site projects that would use Measure I1 funds are up for review that same night; the trustees are set to approve amendments to replace the portables and renovate the science labs at both Foothill and Amador Valley high schools.
The contracts cover $58,254 at Foothill and $58,191 at Amador, according to district records.
The Division of the State Architect, which approves building plans for all public schools in California, found at Amador that “the positioning of the new building eliminated an open area that could be used to fight fires” and that “of the existing buildings adjacent to the new building ... did not comply with current code for fire department access.” Because of this, a mandatory fire sprinkler is being added to the existing building, increasing costs by $58,191.
Adding a new structure also triggered a similar fire sprinkler requirement from the state at Foothill, where an existing building’s “allowable area now has to meet current code since the new building impacts it.” A new fire sprinkler would bump costs for Foothill construction by $58,254.
The portable replacements and new science labs at both schools will cost around a total of $15.7 million. Construction is set to begin next summer and finish by the end of 2021.
* A new vice principal at Donlon could be named Tuesday evening, according to the agenda for the board’s closed session at 5:30 p.m., prior to the open meeting.
Former vice principal Alex Ramirez left the school in late July to be vice principal at Hart Middle School, where he taught at one point before moving to Donlon. Ramirez’s position has been vacant since then.
The board may also appoint an assistant superintendent of business services on Tuesday; the new job title replaces that of “deputy superintendent of business services,'' a position previously held by Micaela Ochoa, who resigned in late June for a new job at the College of San Mateo.