Now that the Pleasanton Unified School District has the keys to the newly acquired district headquarters site in the Hacienda Business Park, staff have begun the second phase of looking at the scope of work for future tenant improvements.
The Board of Trustees approved an agreement with an architecture contractor 4-1 at its Aug. 25 meeting, with Trustee Kelly Mokashi opposing.
DSK Architects, the firm hired by the district for $267,718, will work to complete construction documents, which will further refine tenant improvement layouts and contents, agency approvals, bidding and construction.
"We've been regularly meeting with the architects now and the district staff and actively working on this project full force right now," said John Chwastyk, PUSD executive director of facilities and construction.
"It's a lot of pieces that go into this. It's not just a design package, bid it, build it and that's it," he added.
Chwastyk said the money the district will be paying DSK Architects will help officials to develop a closely tailored package on figuring out space capacity and any additional building necessities specific to district needs.
"We've just seen this thing go from concept to execution in four or five months, you know, and, really, as we've most of us have said, you know, it's just such an excellent financial decision for the district," Board President Mark Miller said.
The board originally approved the resolution on July 14 to proceed with the acquisition of the two-building property, located on 5758 and 5794 West Las Positas Blvd.
The first phase of the purchase process, which was also completed on July 14, provided the board with initial design ideas and preliminary pricing plans to assist the district in obtaining cost estimates for the tenant improvements.
In total, the purchase of the complex, also known as the Arroyo Center, will cost $23,480,261 for the district to acquire from the current owner, ECI Four Arroyo LLC.
The district will keep three acres of the current district headquarters on the edge of downtown Pleasanton, at 4645 and 4665 Bernal Ave., while the rest of the seven acres will be put up for sale.
That property was recently estimated in value between $31 million and $34 million, which would help pay off the newly purchased Arroyo Center.
The district was also presented with an updated lease agreement during the July 14 meeting for the sole tenant currently renting a portion of the Arroyo Center, electron microscopy firm Gatan Inc. -- which would make the district the landlord of the lease going forward after escrow closes on the purchase.
The company will begin paying the district about $80,000 starting next year every month from now until 2027.
Those tenant payments coupled with a certificate of participation of $30 million, which is a type of financing where an investor purchases a share of the lease revenues of a program, will be used by the district to pay for the space and any future renovation and construction projects.
In other business
* The board approved a change order to allocate more money for the fire alarm upgrades project after construction teams found issues in three schools that still need their fire alarms updated.
Upgrading the fire alarm systems at all the schools for consistency and student safety was part of the $270 million Measure I1 facilities bond that voters passed in 2016.
"That was one of the goals that we had and safety is not always visible," Miller said. "This one, of course, we hope we never use this other than drills but it's a really big deal."
So far, all of the school sites are now up-to-date with their fire alarms, except for the three schools in question: Donlon Elementary, Walnut Grove Elementary and Harvest Park Middle schools.
Once these schools get taken care of, all the schools will be up to the current building code standards for fire alarms.
Chwastyk said the issue for the three schools is that originally, the district's design team tried to save money by specifying the re-use of the existing heat detectors at all three sites.
But it turns out that the heat detectors did not match the original as-built drawings and were incompatible with the new fire alarm systems. The design team couldn't determine that issue at first because the heat detectors were in concealed spaces and couldn't be identified prior to the design completion.
There are 470 additional devices identified that needed to be installed and cabled, said Chwastyk. The district included a contingency plan in its budgeting for the project and will have to allocate $136,186 for the revised plan.
The total revised contract for the project will be $2,124,186.76, according to the district staff report.
* The school board appointed four dual immersion teachers to Valley View Elementary School by using a variable term waiver request, which allows those who aren't fully credentialed to still be able to teach.
According to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the waiver is issued for employers who meet the waiver criteria when a fully credentialed teacher is not available for the assignment.
In other words, the waiver allows the board to bring teachers who are still working to get their credentials into the district, just not as a full hire.
"We tend to lose about 5% of our staff and sometimes lower. This last school year has been an anomaly because of the retirement incentive, which is providing an additional challenge for us," said Julio Hernandez, assistant superintendent of human resources.
The district began its ongoing search for a dual immersion teacher for Valley View in May, but Hernandez said they have not found anyone with their bilingual, cross cultural, language and academic development authorization credentials -- which is what the four new hires will be focusing on obtaining during their time at the district.
The waiver is mainly for that reason of giving these new hires the time to get their credentials and incentivize them to stay within the district.
"It's California's way of ensuring that we are having qualified teachers teaching and giving us an opportunity to hire and get those folks through the last bit of the process," Trustee Joan Laursen said. "So it's important that we go through this process of waivers when we can."
The first candidate mentioned is Ryan Sweeney who has a bachelor's from California Polytechnic State University and has one year of experience teaching Spanish in the school district. He currently holds a single subject credential in history and has an authorization to teach introductory Spanish. He is also working on clearing his multiple subject credential.
Arely Labra Paredes is another candidate district staff is recommending. She has a bachelors from California State University, East Bay and has three years of experience teaching Spanish in the district. She currently holds a multiple subject credential and has a minor in Spanish.
She is working on clearing her bilingual, cross cultural, language and academic development authorization, just like the last two candidates Sebastian Martinez and Dayna Vickery.
Martinez also graduated from CSU East Bay and has one year of experience teaching Spanish dual immersion in the district. He holds a multiple subject credential and is fluent in Spanish.
Vickery, who graduated from San Francisco State, has over seven years of teaching experience. She currently holds a multiple subject credential and a degree in Spanish.
Hernandez said that depending on where they are in their tenure, after their second year the new hires could become tenured, which he said is likely because of the district's teacher induction program.
But he also said that if they don't complete their commitment to get their credentials while employed through the waiver, the district will not bring them back to renew the waiver and the board will have to look for another teacher the following year.
* The school board voted 4-1 to increase the trustee stipend by 5% starting in December.
The increase brings the total stipend for each board member to $463 monthly or $5,556 annually and would be effective December 2022.
Trustees are allowed to bring the matter of increasing the stipend by 5% every year but because of the uncertainty with the pandemic and how it would affect the budget, the last time the stipend was raised was in July 2018 when it increased to $441 per month ($5,292 annually).
Laursen was the one who brought it up this year and specified that it be applied to incoming board members, not outgoing ones such as herself and Miller.
"I think that while, of course, no one is taking this job for money ... It is a recognition that there are some costs that we bear out of pocket when we're serving," Laursen said. "It's not just our time, but there are lots of events that we attend that we pay for.
Board Vice President Steve Maher voted against the new stipend, saying that he has been voting against the item for many years. Student Trustee Annabelle Kim also opposed the measure, without explicitly stating why.
"In the past, I've refused to vote for this only because coming on to the board I said I would not come on earning anything," Maher said. "But I also understand, especially our board members that work, sometimes they have to take off work and they're not paid for taking off work and so this helps."
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2022 at 11:31 am
on Sep 7, 2022 at 11:31 am
Are the District office staff getting new furniture as well? When schools are remodeled the classroom use the same old furniture. Some school have students desks 30 years old.