First phase of a $25 million dollar “need” ?
Knowing that the school district has lost the last 3 bond attempts – it seems risky to ask for a bond that is now almost twice their last bond measure …. and three times the matching funds that CSD risks losing.
Add to this that the language has been kept “open” to decide later how they will actually spend the money if the bond passes. If this bond passes, they will receive more money than their first bond attempt in 2013. That first bond was $15 million and failed by over 62%. Most board members at that time have since agreed it was too much to ask for current needs.
Will the decision be to prioritize square footage (size) over the other campus wide safety issues? Listen for yourself below – and decide for yourself.
This is a ten minute audio clip from a February 2016 School Board Meeting where the Superintendent is leading the discussion about his list of priorities. Here is a link to the board meeting notes from 2/17/16
RT: ( Superinrtendent Randy Trani)
MP: ( Board Director Marguerite Perry)
TM: (Board Chair Tod Mickalson)
BB: (Board Director Bob Buttke)
MV: (Board Director Michelle Vo)
On this audio clip – the Superintendent is speaking first. He is listing his proposal for square footage as the priority …. Saying that we can skip seismic initially… as we might get more money for this later…. that no one dies from not having ADA or Title 9…etc. There is some discussion about the bond language…
5:23 in the meeting:
Director Marguerite Perry then asks why RT has twice the square footage as a top priority over safety concerns…. (Over 50,000sf) … Then TM asking whether we can do two schools (Charter/STEM) in the new square footage – to try and recapture small school funding. (How we lost small school funding explained here) … BB asks whether the small school funding was a guarantee. RT responds that it is not. Then BB states he agrees with MP about wanting to go back to the original bond and get half the square footage and address all campus safety issues….
RT – asks if they want to be specific or leave it to a planning process later. MV says the risk we leave bond language vague but run the risk of looking like they don’t know what they are doing. TM says recommendation to tear down building causes some no votes… talks about reasons people yes or no… ” ….all sorts of different reasons for not voting for it… we were a few short last time… we just gotta come to somethin… ”
Eric Eaton asks to speak….. (Eric is a parent of children in CSD and long time community member) is the last person to speak on this clip before audio recorder needs a battery change…. Eric has been very involved in trying to save the historic high school (current middle school) in Corbett. Here is a link to what he and his wife proposed to the school board….
Eric says he has this red T’Shirt at home (from one of the previous bond community meetings that says something like “Honor the Past – Prepare/invest for the future”) and asks RT what his plan is to honor the past in this bond … (the board is tearing down the historic building to build a new building …. if the bond passes.)
Official Board Minutes describe the 10 minute exchange like this:
” Marguerite Perry referred to numbers from priority list. How about cutting square footage, as essentially two buildings. Dr. Trani answered right, that is possible to cut. Todd Mickalson asked if cut square footage, how about SHS [ SMALL HIGH SCHOOL] funding. Bob Buttke added is that a guarantee (SHS funding), as no State next known. 25,000 square feet is more likely a good G.O. Bond at $11 Million. Michelle Vo countered there is nothing in G.O. Bond language to that conclusion. Dr. Trani posed, what number is the question and how specific is the question. Defer question until after passing G.O. Bond? Michelle Vo said the intent is to keep broad for master plan, but risk is it looks like we don’t know what we’re doing. “
Citizens Bond Oversight Committee?
Concern from many community members on this topic is that in the past – these “Facilities Committees” end up being only those hand-picked by the Superintendent and/or the board is directed to allow for ONLY STAFF to be involved, as was the case in the last facilities committee the board heard from.