Fairfield-Suisun school district agenda: Measure J contracts, 2017-18 budget update – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Several large construction contracts, some of them related to Measure J, and an update on Gov. Jerry Brown’s “May revise” state budget are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The seven-member governing board is expected to approve a $131,000 contract, funded by Measure J, with All Commercial Fence, a Waterford-based firm in Stanislaus County, for a fencing project at Green Valley Middle School.

But trustees will reject a $317,000 bid, because it was the only one, to refurbish Armijo High lockers, and re-bid the project, also funded by Measure J, at an unspecified date.

Measure J was the $249 million school bond measure passed by voters in June 2016, to upgrade aging schools in the sprawling district, the largest in Solano County, with more than 21,000 students across more than two dozen campuses.

 

Source: Fairfield-Suisun school district agenda: Measure J contracts, 2017-18 budget update

Dixon school leaders to add another member to Measure Q oversight committee – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified leaders, when they meet tonight in a special meeting, are expected to approve the addition of one new member to the Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee, Tad Smith, a scientist.

During a regular meeting last week, trustees approved a list of five members to serve on the committee. They are Julie Mustard, an administrative coordinator; Gary Riddle, a retiree; Robert Strong, a computer network specialist; Andrea Kett, a business owner; and Jack Caldwell, a local manager.

When school bond measures pass in California, citizens oversight committees usually are formed to comply with the requirements of the bond and state law. Its members are appointed volunteers, often from various organizations, in accord with state law, Basically, oversight committees, independent of a school district’s governing board, try to make sure the bond money is being spent wisely on construction projects and is accounted for, by providing period updates to trustees.

Source: Dixon school leaders to add another member to Measure Q oversight committee

Wood stadium contract, hikes in meal prices up for discussion at Vacaville Unified meeting – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The contract for building the new Wood High athletics stadium, slight increases in school meals for the 2017-18 year, and suicide prevention presentation are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight.

As expected, the governing board will likely approve a contract with Alten Construction, a Richmond-based firm, to build the long-awaited athletics stadium at Wood High. The contract is not to exceed $13,950,000, a little more than $1 million more than previously projected by Dan Banowetz, the director of facilities.

There was no explanation in agenda documents about why the contract increased from a previously announced figure of $12.8 million. The contact signing will come exactly one week after school and district officials held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony at the Marshall Road campus.

Source: Wood stadium contract, hikes in meal prices up for discussion at Vacaville Unified meeting

Measure Q items, charter school petition on DUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Business related to Measure Q, the $30.4 million bond approved by voters in November, and a public hearing on the Norcal Trade and Tech Center Charter School petition are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.

The five-member governing board is expected to approve a $864,000 contract with LPA Inc. for design services related to the modernization of Old Dixon High, built in 1940 when Franklin Roosevelt was president. LPA is an architectural firm with offices in California and Texas, from Sacramento and San Diego to Dallas and San Antonio.

Later in the meeting, trustees also are expected to approve some additional applicants to serve on the Citizens Oversight Committee for Measure Q. Typically, bond oversight committees are tasked with being stewards of the money, delivering periodic updates to the governing board on how the money is being spent. Agenda documents did not list the names of the applicants, but two were approved in March, one in April, and Superintendent Brian Dolan, noted the latest applicants bring the committee closer to being fully staffed.

Source: Measure Q items, charter school petition on DUSD agenda

School board to consider awarding fire alarm upgrade to lowest bidder – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Benicia Unified School District is already in the process of looking for a contractor for the fire alarm upgrade at Benicia High School. The school board will be voting Thursday to award the contract to the lowest bidder.

The fire alarm improvement is another item to be funded through Measure S, the initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 to provide $49.6 million in bond funding to enhance facilities at BUSD’s seven schools. Much like the stadium renovation at Benicia High School and the fire alarm upgrade at Benicia Middle School, the project was taken to a public bidding process where contractors had to be pre-qualified in order to be eligible to bid. According to Measure S Bond Director Roxanne Egan, four contractors pre-qualified and three submitted a bid. The lowest was a $1.9 million bid submitted by Bockmon & Woody Electric Co. Inc. out of Stockton. District staff is recommending that the board award the contract to Bockmon & Woody, noting that the district’s electrical engineer has successfully worked on projects with the company and is confident in their ability.

Source: School board to consider awarding fire alarm upgrade to lowest bidder

Trustees OK guidelines for no-hard-bid school construction contracts – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Guidelines to evaluate contractors participating in new no-hard-bid construction contracts won Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees’ unanimous approval Thursday.

The school district plans to create a pool of qualified contractors and solicit proposals for certain projects.

Among requirements is that contractors maintain a full-service office within 100 miles of the school district and have completed five lease-leaseback projects during the past seven years.

No-hard-bid contracts will allow the district to be better able to “determine the final pricing upfront, avoiding uncertainty of change orders while also guaranteeing, upfront, the quality of the contractor’s performance of work,” a school district staff report said.

Source: Trustees OK guidelines for no-hard-bid school construction contracts

Red-letter day at Wood High – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

If it were a novel, a high school English teacher might say it symbolizes “a hero’s journey.”

But it was groundbreaking Thursday afternoon for the new Wildcat Stadium complex at Will C. Wood High, a festive event that capped a four-year journey — in ways deliberative, necessary, much-anticipated, and arguably signifying heroic efforts by many Vacaville residents, depending on your point of view — made possible, at long last, by Measure A funds.

After musical fanfare, customary speeches, a countdown, confetti, cheers, some dozen Wood students, in white hard hats and shovels in hand, turned over earth that symbolically kicked off construction of a $12.8 million project that will begin May 8 and end Feb. 1, easily in time for the school’s first senior class commencement at the Marshall Road campus, at the intersection of Peabody and Marshall roads. In the ensuing months, however, and as they have for many years, Wildcat football games will continue to be held in Zunino Stadium at Vacaville High on West Monte Vista Avenue.

Source: Red-letter day at Wood High

Fairfield-Suisun district eyes guidelines for contractors on no-bid school contracts – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Guidelines to evaluate contractors participating in new no-bid construction contracts go before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees when they meet Thursday.

The school district plans to create a pool of qualified contractors and solicit proposals for certain projects.

Among requirements is that contractors maintain a full-service office within 100 miles of the school district and have completed five lease-leaseback projects during the past seven years.

No-bid contracts will allow the district to be better able to “determine the final pricing upfront, avoiding uncertainty of change orders while also guaranteeing, upfront, the quality of the contractor’s performance of work,” a school district staff report said.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun district eyes guidelines for contractors on no-bid school contracts

Will C. Wood breaking ground on stadium – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Wildcat Stadium will be held at 3:30 p.m. on April 27 at Will C. Wood High School.

Work on the $13 million stadium is expected to be completed in December.

More than 15 students will participate in the shovel ceremony, along with local elected officials. More than 250 people are expected to attend.

Source: Will C. Wood breaking ground on stadium

School board accepts lone $1.9M bid for former Falls Elementary site – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A lone bid of $1.9 million on the former Falls Elementary School site was opened and accepted Thursday by Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees.

They had agreed in February that the 10-acre site on Rockville Road should be sold for at least $1.9 million and Mariani V Partnership of Vacaville submitted that bid.

Sealed bids had to be submitted by Thursday.

Trustees called for oral bids before accepting the written proposal, but no such verbal offers were made.

Source: School board accepts lone $1.9M bid for former Falls Elementary site

Sealed bids for former school site go before Fairfield-Suisun trustees – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Sealed bids for the former Falls Elementary School site will be opened Thursday when Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees accept the highest written, responsive bid for the property.

Trustees will call for oral bids before accepting any written proposal.

If any responsible person offers to purchase the property for a price that exceeds the highest written proposal by at least 5 percent, that oral bid will be accepted, a district staff report notes.

Roger Merrill, president of the Green Valley Landowner Association, said at the school board’s Feb. 23 meeting that a Cordelia Fire District station has been at the property on Rockville Road for 45 years. Emergency response times would increase sharply if the station cannot continue at the site because of the property sale, he said.

Source: Sealed bids for former school site go before Fairfield-Suisun trustees

Further Benicia Middle School remodeling updates presented to school board – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Lee Pollard of HY Architects delivered an update of Benicia Middle School’s campus modernization project at Thursday’s school board meeting.

The redesign of Benicia Middle’s campus, funded by Measure S and set to begin in the fall, has been a topic of discussion at school board meetings in recent months. One of the suggestions at the Feb. 2 meeting was to gather more input from staff. Pollard said that shortly afterward, the same presentation was given to BMS staff on Feb. 10, and design committee meetings were held on March 10 and 24, in which additional input was given.

Primary projects of the redesign include new modular classrooms, a modernized campus, a new drama room and kitchen, and removing the lower portables.

Staff has presented concerns about the number of classrooms in the upper campus if the school removed classrooms in the lower campus and congested student traffic in getting out of the library building. They also expressed a desire for 21st century learning classrooms and improving the front of the school and outdoor learning areas.“The group had a lot of passion about making this place as good as we can make it,” Pollard said.

Source: Further Benicia Middle School remodeling updates presented to school board

Fairfield-Suisun School District OKs no-bid contracts – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

No-bid contracts have won approval by Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees, ending a requirement that all construction costing more than $40,000 go out to bid.

Design-build and lease-leaseback, the two alternatives to the traditional lowest-bid contracts, were approved March 30 after a presentation by Philip Henderson, an attorney for the school district.

Design-build is great for new construction and can work on modernizing schools, Henderson said.

The method allows school districts to evaluate more than price and consider past experience of contractors, the attorney said.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District OKs no-bid contracts

Slate of Measure S projects on agenda for Thursday’s school board meeting – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Lee Pollard of HY Architects and Measure S Bond Director Roxanne Egan will deliver an update on progress to the renovation of Benicia Middle School at Thursday’s school board meeting.

The renovation of BMS is one of the last remaining projects in the first phase of Measure S, an initiative approved by voters in 2014 to set aside $49.6 million in bond funding to be used for construction and renovation projects at Benicia Unified School District sites. The modernization of Benicia Middle School’s campus, which was built in 1976, is expected to begin in the fall of 2017 and will include new modular classrooms, a drama classroom, improving the quality of interior spaces and traffic congestion, new 21st century classrooms with new furniture,

Source: Slate of Measure S projects on agenda for Thursday’s school board meeting

Increased meal prices, large construction contracts on Fairfield-Suisun agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Increased breakfast and lunch prices at middle schools and high schools, contracts for parking lot, field and portable classroom expansion at two schools, and reviews of Title 1 (federal funding) programs at two schools are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight.

Trustees are expected to approve the meal price increases, effective July 1, that call for breakfast prices to rise from $1.50 to $1.75 and lunch prices to rise from $3 to $3.25 at the district’s secondary schools. Breakfasts and lunches served at elementary schools will remain the same for the time being, however.

According to agenda documents, Margan Holloway, director of child nutrition services, noted U.S. Code 1760 requires schools to charge students not eligible for the free and reduced-price meal program a price that is, on average, equal to the difference between free meal reimbursement and paid meal reimbursement.

 

Source: Increased meal prices, large construction contracts on Fairfield-Suisun agenda

Dixon Unified leaders to name bond measure oversight committee members – The Reporter

The members’ appointments come nearly five months after voters approved the $30.4 million bond that will pay for upgrades to several aging schools, including Old Dixon High, built in 1940, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, and Anderson Elementary, built in 1949, when Harry Truman was president.

School bond oversight committees consist of volunteers whose mission includes service as stewards of the money and delivery of periodic updates to the governing board.

Trustees will meet in open session at 7:45 p.m. in the City Council chamber, 600 East A St., Dixon.

Source: Dixon Unified leaders to name bond measure oversight committee members

VUSD trustees approve sale of $38M in Measure A bonds, several major contracts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

With little discussion, Vacaville Unified leaders unanimously approved the pending sale of $38 million in Measure A bonds and several large contracts.

The no-surprise votes came Thursday during a regular governing board meeting in the Educational Services Center.

The bond sale approval comes after the initial issue of Measure A bonds, for $40 million, that help to launch the first major projects under the $194 million measure passed by voters in 2014. They included upgrades to Vacaville High and Sierra Vista K-8 School, among other projects.

The bonds are paid for through property taxes levied by the county, and the money largely will be used to upgrade the 12,500-student district’s aging school buildings, many of them more than 50 years old, and, of those, several are more than 60 years old. Another major Measure A project, the building of a new $12.8 million stadium at Will C. Wood High, officially gets underway with groundbreaking fanfare set for 3:30 p.m. Monday.

 

Source: VUSD trustees approve sale of $38M in Measure A bonds, several major contracts

Budget report, open enrollment, alternative elementary configurations on DUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The second interim budget report, open enrollment practices, and alternative elementary school configurations are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.

As school districts statewide are doing in March, an update on the rural eastern Solano district’s 2016-17 budget likely will be approved by the five-member board. Adrian Vargas, assistant superintendent for business and operations, will make the presentation.

He is expected to note the $34 million budget will incur some red ink, about $286,000, with an ending balance of $3.4 million. Vargas will tell trustees that the district’s budget will receive a positive certification and district officials will be able to pay their bills for the current year and the next two.

The district’s projected $32.2 million 2017-18 budget likely will continue to evolve with Gov. Brown’s “May revise” of the state budget before a final district budget is sent the County Office of Education, Vargas will probably note.

 

Source: Budget report, open enrollment, alternative elementary configurations on DUSD agenda

Citizen panels overseeing school bonds need help, statewide panel says – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Oversight of school construction bonds – proposed by creating citizen committees in California – is not taking place for the most part, the Little Hoover Commission said in a study.

Independent training is needed for citizens bond oversight committees created in 2000 when the threshold to pass school bond measures in California was reduced from two-thirds to 55 percent, said the study released late last month.

“Bond oversight committees in many communities act simply as cheerleaders for the district, often because members simply do not understand their roles or know what actions they can take,” states the study, “Borrowed Money: Opportunities for Stronger Bond Oversight.”

Source: Citizen panels overseeing school bonds need help, statewide panel says

School board votes to set retention of 2 Measure S projects at 10% – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

After a public hearing, the Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District unanimously voted to set the retention for two Measure S projects at 10 percent for being substantially complex at Thursday’s meeting.

The first project in question was a fire alarm upgrade at Benicia High School— not Benicia Middle School as previously reported. Factors that make the project complex include the fact the construction timeline is critical, the system is unique in nature and requires specialized training, and the system is directly related to fire, life and safety at the school.

Source: School board votes to set retention of 2 Measure S projects at 10%