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Lindbergh continues planning for no-tax-rate-hike bond issue


November 16, 2005 - Planning is in full swing for a potential no-tax-rate-increase bond issue that would address the Lindbergh School District's cap-ital needs.

The planning process was outlined last week during a Board of Education meeting by Karl Guyer, the district's executive di-rector of planning and development.

During a work session in late July, Board of Education members tentatively agreed to begin the process of seeking a no-tax-rate-increase bond issue to maintain and renovate the district's buildings.

At that time, a consultant was working with Guyer to assess the condition of the district's roofs. Since then, Enviro-Tech Roof Consulting Services found that roofs on a majority of district buildings need to be replaced within a few years.

In addition, the needs of each school building have been reviewed by individual teams comprised of parents, teachers and students, and a District Oversight Committee has been established.

The District Oversight Committee, which recently conducted its first meeting, is comprised of a parent leader from each school's building team, principals, additional parents and administrators. Also serving on the Oversight Committee is the district's architect, William B. Ittner Inc., and construction manager, the McCarthy Construction Co.

"... The district has started the planning phase of Prop-R Next. Each of the schools has already had a series of planning meetings with their individual building teams. The building teams are comprised of parents, teachers and students,'' Guyer said during the Nov. 8 Board of Education meeting.

Lindbergh voters in April 2000 approved a no-tax-rate-increase bond issue, the Proposition R "Responsible Renovation'' measure.

The $9.5 million bond issue addressed projects that were not included in the district's 1995 $25 million bond issue, also called Proposition R.

"The Oversight Committee has held their initial meeting to review the prioritized list that each of the building teams from each school have brought forward. We reviewed these, asked any questions of the individual building team representative so that everybody could understand the full breadth of the type of projects there were being contemplated,'' he said. "These individual projects will be reviewed against several filters.''

Those filters are:

• Safety and health.

• Educational needs.

• Legal, including building and fire codes and compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

• The greatest good for the greatest number — students and teachers affected by projects.

"Just as the planning process for Prop R '95 generated more potential projects than were able to be ultimately folded in, the same is true here,'' Guyer told board members. "We have a number of wonderful ideas, but we do ultimately have a budget that I'm working to and the budget being a no-tax increase budget. Each of these projects is now being prioritized based on some of these evaluation filters and some costs are being estimated to these on a very early basis — we don't have design drawings — on an early basis, so that we can start taking a look at those projects that start folding into a listing, which ultimately the board will get to review and determine the final outcome.''

Besides the four filters, Guyer said the budget must be taken into consideration.

In addition, he said he must make the board aware of issues beyond "what parents would see or what teachers or kids would happen to notice, but if they fail then would jeopardize our district. Roofs are one of those things that really nobody notices or takes for granted ... Fire alarm systems are also one of those things that are critical ...''

Construction costs currently are being evaluated by the architect, engineer and construction manager, he said.

"... They've got the initial list. They're now starting to work through some details, which I've helped them with and which they're also speaking with the individual schools about to get clarification, and at our next Oversight Committee meeting we'll start taking a look at these very preliminary numbers to start allowing the committee to see what some of the priorities start to be, what some of the costs are so that they can start to respond and indicate whether or not some of the initial priorities that looked good without numbers still hold up to the same muster with numbers,'' Guyer said.

"My ultimate goal is to submit to the board a listing of projects that come out of this parent leadership group that will actually be greater than the number of projects that we can afford, but allow you all the opportunity based on the types of things that you all hear from various people in the district — you all are another filter or the filter. I can make some adjustments, parents can make some, but you all also hear a lot from a lot of folks and this hopefully will allow you all to make those last tweaks and adjustments so that the final package is something that would be the best possible for the district ...,'' he added.

The District Oversight Committee has had one meeting and hopes to have at least two more before a presentation is made to the Board of Education in January, Guyer said.

He also told board members that he was pleased with the parent involvement in the planning process for Prop-R next.

"I'm very excited about the numbers of parents that have already started to touch and take a look at the various components throughout each of the buildings,'' he said.

In a Sept. 14 memorandum to building principals, Guyer wrote, "The district is in the very early stages of evaluation and de-velopment of what Proposition-R Next will accomplish. While the Board of Edu-cation has asked for refinement and background, there have been no commitments as to when a capital campaign would be presented to the voters ...''

The memorandum also cited "four tenants for each capital campaign.'' The four tenants state that projects shall be:

• "Completed on time — extended delays detract from educational programming and cause disruption to planning continuity.''

• "Within budget — perform and complete all construction project scope of work originally conceived within or below budget with the greatest amount of unspent contingency remaining.''

• "First quality — all workmanship and materials shall provide longevity with sustained use in a public school — no premature remediation.''

• "Minimal disruption — no lost days of learning with no major complaints.''

The memorandum also states, "Once an acceptable package has been approved by the Board of Education and (the) board authorizes a capital campaign to be placed on the ballot for voter approval, each building team will then spearhead the campaign effort for their building and aid to disseminate materials to an expanded school support group in an effort to gain passage.''

If board members eventually decide to pursue a no-tax-rate-increase bond issue, voters could consider the proposal in April or November of next year. At this point, neither the amount of funding available nor the scope of work have been determined.

If board members ultimately decide to pursue a no-tax-rate increase bond issue, the district's debt-service tax rate would remain unchanged at 38 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, but would be extended for an as-yet undetermined period of time if approved by voters. A four-sevenths majority would be required for approval.

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