By Richard Bammer
When they meet Tuesday in a special governing board workshop, Vacaville Unified School District leaders will hear updates on lease-leaseback construction, a plan for the re-opening of Sierra Vista Elementary, Phase 1 projects under Measure A.
Lisa Allred, an attorney with the law firm that represents the district, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, will update the board about lease-leaseback construction contracts, which, under the state Education Code, a school district may enter into without competitive bidding. The lease-leaseback structure permits builder-financed construction, with payments made over a set period of time.
Her presentation comes on the heels of a recent state court case, Davis v. Fresno Unified School District, in which the court ruled that Davis, a local taxpayer, had on appeal sufficiently alleged that Fresno school officials had violated the competitive bidding requirements for a building project.
On appeal, the court determined that the terms of the district’s contract with its builder were more like a traditional construction contract, not a lease. The Education Code section at issue applies only to “genuine or true leases,” the Fifth District Court of Appeal stated.