A proposal to pursue $12 million in state funding for new science classrooms and buildings at Foothill and Amador Valley high schools was considered by the Pleasanton school board at its regular meeting, which was rescheduled to Monday night to accommodate those observing the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.
A presentation was heard on Pleasanton Unified School District's Career Technical Education Master Plan, which outlines plans to build "facilities that better simulate real-life, work-based learning environments" for students enrolled in high school bioscience and engineering classes.
Since last year, PUSD has planned to secure state matching funds for construction of two new science classrooms and a new one-story building near the main entrance at Foothill and replace six portables on campus using mostly Measure I1 revenue.
Glen Sparks, director of Pleasanton Adult Career and Education, told the school board Monday that he liked their odds of getting more money again. "We're going to give it a shot and thanks to lobbying efforts ... we'd be in good shape," Sparks said.
Staff applied for an additional $6 million from the state last year to add new, state-of-the-art career technical education (CTE) facilities for students enrolled in bioscience and engineering classes, including two computer science rooms and two biomedical science labs. Two new computer science classrooms will also be built at Amador.
Public documents state that "the new facilities will be greatly enhanced if the district is awarded further financial assistance" in state funding from Proposition 51, which authorized $9 billion in general obligation bonds to build or modernize K-12 public school facilities including $500 million specifically for CTE facilities. A district-matching amount is required for applicants.
A total of four applications would be submitted to the state Office of Public School Construction; three applications for the engineering, health sciences, and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors on behalf of Foothill, while Amador Valley would focus on just ICT.
Foothill would leverage its approved Measure I1 bond money to acquire matching CTE new construction grant money -- up to $3 million per pathway for a potential matching total of $9 million -- and Amador would do the same for up to $3 million of approved funds, according to PUSD officials.
District leadership, including Superintendent David Haglund, who was absent Monday evening, both Foothill and Amador principals and CTE staff at both campuses, have recommended that the board approve the request by the Dec. 2 application deadline.
The trustees directed administration to continue pursuing the grants; the item will return to the board for approval at its Oct. 22 meeting. Construction would be expected to break ground next summer or fall.
In other business
* The trustees announced Monday that the Amador Valley parking lot facing Santa Rita Road will reopen Oct. 15, after being closed since June while half a dozen solar panel structures were built onsite.
During the extended closure, which put more than 400 parking spots out of commission, workers also reconfigured the parking spaces and added crosswalks and other safety features to the lot.
Board President Valerie Arkin said a public event to celebrate the lot's completion and reopening will be held in the near future.
* More than $3.8 million in purchase orders at various district sites from last month were approved on Monday. Most of the expenses were reimbursements for staff travel, classroom and office supplies and contracted services such as Wheels bus tickets for students.
A separate board report was accepted that evening detailing another $5.7 million of warrant produced and amounts expended from various funds for the month of September. The items listed in that document were similar to the purchase orders and included textbooks and computer equipment, as well as interpreting services.
* The board approved a resolution for Red Ribbon Week on Monday, with the goal to "encourage all students to choose to live free of drug and substance abuse." PUSD schools have activities planned for Red Ribbon Week, which will be held Oct. 23-31. The Pleasanton Police Department is donating a $1,000 grant for the event.