On April 8, 2014, the five-member SVUSD Board of Trustees met for a Special Board Meeting-Measure C4 Bond Workshop to discuss how to spend the bond’s remaining $17.1 million.
As of Feb. 28, about $75 million in bond funds remain for bond-authorized projects. Of that, $57.8 million is already committed to projects in varied states of progression. The remaining $17.1 million still needs to be decided upon.
As this was only a workshop and not a formal board meeting, District staff asked the Board what projects might move forward. This means that from a dense list of projects suggested, the board would remove those projects it didn’t want to consider. There was no commitment made by the Board to move forward with any of these projects; only direction to staff to gather more information from staff about each project’s costs and needs.
The projects for consideration totaled about $28.7 million with Simi Elementary School’s projects adding almost $10.6 million. The total of all the projects under consideration is $39.3 million.
The list of projects and potential costs is linked HERE. You’ll find it on page 3 of the meeting agenda. From that list, the board removed proposed improvements to the Education Service Center (District office) for $2.9 million. All other projects remain for consideration.
The Board members discussed the history behind the unfinished Measure C4 bond projects. For several years at the start of the bond, there was a boom in public school bonds and modernization projects throughout California. As a result, construction costs rose substantially, making many of the originally planned projects throughout the district’s schools too expensive to complete. At that time the Board prioritized projects that solved health and safety concerns and upgraded technology. Every campus was left with projects that were not completed.
The Board indicated that when they continue considering the listed projects that they will likely take the same approach and place a higher priority on those projects that are needed for health and safety concerns, such as the roofs at eight school sites, refurbishing the HVAC systems at several schools and concrete pavement repairs and improvements.
Nine people commented publicly at the meeting. Seven were in support of allocating remaining Measure C4 bond money to Simi Elementary School’s improvements. One speaker, speaking as a member of the ICOC, asked that the board consider all of the projects NOT completed from the bond due to increased construction costs in the bond’s early days which caused some projects to be taken off of those schools’ lists. And one speaker, a teacher from Royal High School, asked for the completion of a student patio at Royal High School. This project is listed for consideration.
Simi Elementary concerns:
While the Board was not making any decisions about Simi Elementary’s future, trustees did ask District staff to obtain a more accurate cost for the repairs needed at the school. Also, staff was asked to provide the process for transitioning an elementary school into a magnet model, following one of the suggestions to transform Simi El into a performing arts/technology magnet elementary school.
The next regular SVUSD Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15 at City Hall. Closed session starts at 5:30 p.m. and open session will begin at 6:30 p.m. The full agenda and back up materials will be posted to the District’s website by Friday afternoon.