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School District’s Wish List of Construction Projects Exceeds Bond Funding by $194.4 Million

Facility evaluations and cost estimates are under way to help Santa Barbara officials prioritize how to spend dollars from Measures Q & R

The wish list for bond-funded construction projects in the Santa Barbara Unified School District is adding up, and the total estimated project costs would be $194.4 million over Measure Q’s budget.

Measures Q & R will bring $75 million to secondary schools and $35 million to elementary schools, respectively, and the school board has asked facilities staff to develop a comprehensive status update of every district facility.

TELACU Construction Management project manager Kelly Coultrup presented the cost analysis of current and potential projects at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Board members and district staff made up a “probable/possible list” for projects, but with no final prioritization order, according to facilities director David Hetyonk.

Coultrup’s firm is developing the cost estimates for projects, a master schedule and helping the district prioritize projects. TELACU also evaluated all facilities for age, general condition, maintenance and replacement cost projections. The evaluations will factor into board members’ decisions when they pick which projects to green light.

“We looked at every roof on every campus in the entire district,” he said.

He’ll brief the board on elementary school projects — funded by Measure R — at a later meeting.

So far, the district has spent $26.54 million on completed projects and another $1.15 million on contractors, management and equipment, according to the TELACU report.

The report also identified $227 million in pending and future projects, not including the high cost for replacing portable classrooms with permanent single-story buildings.

“This is unbelievably fantastic information for us to have,” Superintendent Dave Cash told the board. “We don’t have a lot of money, so we’ll spend what we need to spend at your direction.”

Board president Monique Limon said she saw a theme of school safety issues in the proposed projects. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn., some priorities in projects may need to change, she said.

“Before Dec. 14, there were things I thought about differently,” she said.

Case in point, Hetyonk said, a locksmith is replacing the entire locks and keys system at every school. Now, the system meets new handicap and building codes and teachers can lock classroom doors from the inside, not just the outside.

Coultrup presented some specific future projects at Tuesday’s meeting, including the proposed window replacement for La Cumbre Junior High, estimated at $6.1 million, and Santa Barbara High, estimated at $11 million. Many of the windows are historic, but in bad shape, so the replacement will be very expensive, he said.

Board member Kate Parker said the problems are far beyond the scope of what the district thought was needed when the general obligation bonds were passed.

The board has made huge cuts to the maintenance budget during the recession, so returning that money needs to be a priority as well, she said.

Measure Q bond-funded projects so far include the following:

» La Colina Junior High School has had $1.46 million spent on hillside stabilization, site drainage, wireless access and parking lot asphalt paving.

» La Cumbre Junior High School has had $214,375 spent on wireless access and ADA upgrades.

» Wireless access funds have also been spent at Santa Barbara Junior High School, Goleta Valley Junior High and La Cuesta Continuation High School.

» At San Marcos High School, $10.54 million of bond money has been spent so far on the new classroom wing — which houses the Health Careers Academy — electrical infrastructure, water line replacement, wireless access and site drainage.

» Santa Barbara High School’s kitchen renovation cost about $5 million, and the campus has seen another $1 million spent on new roofing, wireless access and ADA improvements.

» Dos Pueblos High School has had $6.2 million worth of HVAC replacement done as well as some paving, cafeteria road construction and wireless access.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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