By Miriam Raftery
July 1, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Newly appointed Grossmont Union High School District Citizens Bond Oversight Committee member Lou Russo has forwarded a copy of the most recent meeting minutes from March 29 to ECM. There were several items of note including audit results, status of bond projects and other construction at district schools, an update on the lawsuit filed against the GUHSD over the proposed Alpine High School on which the district has spent over $3.2 million to date, and a projected $11.1 million budget deficit for the district.
Below are the full minutes:
Grossmont Union High School District
Proposition H/U Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Grossmont High School District Office – Main Conference Room
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
1.0 Meeting Called to Order (Chair)
The meeting was called to order by Chair Zacovic at 5:00 p.m.
2.0 Roll Call (Recording Secretary)
A quorum was represented as follows:
Members Present: Robert Ball, Jan Canel, Nancy Herbst, Liz Higgins, David Kvendru, Arlen Hurt, Wayne Papac, Glen Sparrow, Jay Steiger (5:39 p.m.), Mike Stewart, Mark Zacovic
Members Absent: None
Staff & Others Present: Ken Leighton, Santiago Ruiz, Katy Wright, Larry Goshorn (Colbi Technologies)
3.0 Approval of Agenda (Chair)
The agenda for the, March 29, 2017, Regular meeting was approved as presented.
4.0 Approval of Minutes (Chair)
The minutes for the January 25, 2017, meeting were unanimously approved.
5.0 Public Comments
No members of the public presented a speaker card.
6.0 Chair Report (M. Zacovic)
6.1 Monthly Report to the Governing Board
Vice-Chair Stewart presented the monthly report in Chair Zacovic’s absence. An outline of his report to the Governing Board was distributed. (See Attachment 6.1.) Highlights included:
--The presentation of the Annual Report developed by the Ad Hoc Committee consisting of Mr. Stewart, Dr. Zacovic and Dr. Hurt. Larry Goshorn of Colbi Technologies prepared the report with their oversight and input.
--The Annual Report stated that the financial audit, as with previous audits, concluded that no deficiencies were identified. Similarly, the performance audit found that the Prop U met compliance requirements. The report points out that the District has taken advantage of favorable market conditions and refinanced some of the bonds that will save taxpayers $25M over thirteen years.
--The Annual Report states that $42M was spent on projects at Monte Vista and Valhalla High Schools. It also includes that the CBOC commissioned an in-depth report of the Valhalla Main Building Modernization Project.
--Vice-chair Stewart stated that he acknowledged the support and outstanding cooperation of staff supporting the CBOC.
--Mr. Stewart reported that the Governing Board did not have any questions.
--Chair Zacovic asked that Vice-chair Stewart also report to the Governing Board at its April 6 meeting.
7.0 Governing Board Update (S. Patterson)
§ No updates to report
8.0 Program Manager Report (K. Wright)
8.1 Monthly Report to the Governing Board (Please see Attachment 8.1.)
Katy Wright presented the Monthly Report to the Governing Board that was given on March 9, 2017. She shared the following highlights:
§ $375.9M has been spent on the consolidated Prop U projects.
§ At Helix, the demolition of Bldg. 1100 Classroom/Computer Lab at Helix Charter High School is complete, as is the Bldg. 1140 Modernization Team Rooms/2D and 2D Art.
§ The Chaparral modernization project is nearly complete and staff and students will move in after Spring Break.
§ Two new Professional Development Classrooms/Parking Lot Improvements were completed in mid-March (non-bond project).
§ The Mt. Miguel Modernization Project scope will include: conversion of the Administration Building to five CTE classrooms; a new Student Support Services Center and a Cultural Center; new entry plaza, guest/visitor parking lot and student drop-off; and reconfigure, resurface and restripe existing parking lot.
Design for this project began in August 2015 with input from site participants including teachers, administration, staff, community liaison, principal, MSF, and CTE staff. Designs were submitted to DSA in December 2016, and the project is expected to begin in June 2017. The project cost is 16.5M and expected to be completed in 18 months once construction begins.
§ Projects in DSA
--Mt. Miguel Student Support Services Building/Events Center/Modernize Building 100 to CTE
§ Projects in Design
--El Cajon Valley Events Center, Student Support Services, Food Service
--El Capitan Event Center
--Granite Hills New PE/Food Service
--Monte Vista Events Center, Administration Modernization
--Santana Events Center, PE Locker Facility
§ Projects out to Bid
--Granite Hills 30/80 classrooms
--West Hills Special Ed/HVAC Replacement
§ Ms. Wright stated that Grossmont High School is still evaluating design options and scope for their Events Center.
§ Member Higgins inquired as to the plan for the “Old Gym” on the Grossmont High School campus. Ms. Wright answered that the site uses the space for a multitude of events. She added that it has a new roof and heater.
§ Member Ball asked if any sites are planning a Performing Arts Center (PAC) similar to Helix’s PAC. Ms. Wright stated that the only other site that has board approval to move in that direction is Grossmont. She added that all the other sites are moving toward multi-purpose space.
9.0 Information Items
§ Report of GUHSD Board Goals Workshop
--Member Stewart reported that he attended the GUHSD Board Goals & Objectives Workshop on January 28, 2017. He stated that was invited to attend the workshop in his capacity as both a CBOC and PTA member. He shared the notes he took at the event with the committee as information. (Please see Attachment 9.1.). He said a wide variety of stakeholders attended the workshop. He reported that four groups were formed: Students, Parents, Teachers/Staff, and Business Community organizations. He estimated there were 200 participants. He added that he attended the Parent Group. He noted there was no discussion as to inadequate facilities (which had occurred in previous workshops), and he attributed that to the modernization program that is currently in place.
--Chair Zacovic distributed a copy of the Colbi Technologies invoice dated January 31, 2017, as information. (Please see Attachment 9.2.) Discussion was held regarding timelines for tasks assigned to Colbi Technologies. Mr. Goshorn acknowledged that the task of preparing the Annual Report was assigned to Colbi Technologies in a timely manner; however, he was unable to begin the project prior to January, as was expected. He anticipates that, with the addition of six more Colbi staff members, project scheduling issues can be avoided in the future.
--Dr. Zacovic confirmed that the fees for Colbi Technologies are paid out of the General Fund. Ms. Wright stated that the contract is due for renewal, effective June 30, for the fifth year of a five-year contract. She added that their rates have not increased during the term of this contract.
10.0 CBOC Consultant RFP Discussion—Potential Action
§ No action was taken on this agenda item.
11.0 Formation of an Ad Hoc Committee to Review Applications for Upcoming Vacancy—Action
§ Chair Zacovic pointed out that Nancy Herbst’s third two-year term will expire on April 30, thus creating a vacancy on the committee. He called for volunteers from the three subcommittees to serve on an ad hoc committee to review membership applications to fill the upcoming vacancy.
§ Discussion was held regarding what the proposed ad hoc committee’s recommendation to the Governing Board should entail. Member Herbst believed that the committee should be able to state whether or not an applicant was acceptable.
§ Chair Zacovic called for volunteers; Mike Stewart, Jay Steiger, and Jan Canel volunteered, with Member Stewart agreeing to serve as chair. Dr. Zacovic asked CBOC Secretary Melick to assist in the coordination of the ad hoc committee. Chair Zacovic called for a motion to nominate Members Stewart, Steiger and Canel to form an ad hoc committee to screen applications to fill an upcoming vacancy. Member Herbst so moved; Member Higgins seconded the motion; passed unanimously.
12.0 Report and Recommendations of Ad Hoc Committee on Revision of Bylaws—Action
§ Member Herbst reported that an ad hoc committee was appointed to review the bylaws, consisting of herself, Member Canel and Member Ball; they collaborated via email to update the CBOC Bylaws. She presented their recommendations to the committee. (See Attachment 12.0.) Ms. Herbst stated that the revisions essentially consisted of removing language referring to Proposition H, adding language referencing Measure BB, and modifying the titles from President/Vice President to Chair/Vice Chair.
§ Member Higgins made a motion to accept the ad hoc subcommittee’s recommendations to revise the bylaws and forward them to the Governing Board for approval; Member Stewart seconded the motion; motion passed unanimously.
§ Chair Zacovic dissolved the ad hoc committee and thanked them for their efforts in this regard.
13.0 Steering & Planning Subcommittee Report
13.1 Quarterly Report on Deferred Maintenance
§ Ms. Wright reported that she updated the Steering & Planning Subcommittee that the Facilities Department continues to document the status of facilities that had not previously been addressed, i.e., Adult Schools and other district needs including hardscape at large. She added that, ideally, there is a need for $15M to be dedicated to maintain the deferred maintenance backlog, but there is currently not enough money in the budget to be currently allocated to that.
§ Ms. Wright then brought up the recent Valhalla modernization project, which removed a number of projects from the Deferred Maintenance list. She indicated several more projects at Valhalla are still needed, i.e., the gym, locker rooms, weight room, and dance room. She stated that as buildings are modernized under the bond program, projects will continue to be eliminated from the Deferred Maintenance backlog, but added that $1M/year for Deferred Maintenance is not adequate.
§ Member Herbst pointed out that the CBOC has a history of advocating for a Deferred Maintenance projects. She stated that the Governing Board elected to move money from escalation savings to Deferred Maintenance, which occurred for a couple years. Ms. Herbst added that when the program was revamped, escalation savings no longer accrued.
§ Dr. Sparrow asked if there would be any value in a creating a resolution from the CBOC to the Governing Board requesting that more money be directed to a stronger Deferred Maintenance program. Dr. Zacovic stated that he believes the Board is aware of the shortfall. Member Stewart stated that he will bring this matter forward during his report to the Governing Board at its April meeting.
§ Consultant Larry Goshorn said that there was previously a State program that supported Deferred Maintenance, but that since the implementation of LCFF, it is no longer in place. He said that it is now up to local school boards and the communities they support to determine where money should be allocated. He added that there is a continued need to advocate for additional Deferred Maintenance funds, which ultimately protects the taxpayers’ investment. Mr. Goshorn stated that the CBOC should continue to have a voice in requesting more local funds.
§ Member Kvendru asked if a “realistic” Deferred Maintenance program budget might be considered by the Governing Board. Ms. Wright stated that the District’s budget is still in development, but is anticipating an $11M deficit and that layoffs might need to occur.
§ Member Stewart bought up that part of the reason for the deficit is declining enrollment. He added that he believes that up-to-date and safe facilities will help to attract more students.
§ Chair Zacovic asked Ms. Wright for the priorities of the Deferred Maintenance budget, given the $1M constraint. She stated that it would be allocated to anything that was critical, i.e., roofs, safety issues, etc.
13.2 Alpine Lawsuit Update
§ Ms. Wright reported that Alpine has requested two extensions, both of which were granted. She stated that there will be no further extensions.
Ms. Wright stated that the latest Alpine’s and ATBA’s opening briefs could be due is April 4, 2017. Grossmont’s response briefs will be due by June 18 and Alpine’s and ATBA’s reply briefs would be due July 8.
13.3 Proposition U/Measure BB Logo Design
§ Chair Zacovic shared that discussion had been held regarding opening up a competition for the design of a new CBOC logo. He stated that Steering & Planning will review the entries and present finalist submissions to the full CBOC. Discussion was held as to awards and incentives for the students (maximum of $25.00 per student; unlimited for ASBs or arts programs). Ms. Herbst stated that this would be an excellent opportunity for a student(s) to enhance their resume and that a letter of appreciation to the winning recipient could be crafted by the Governing Board.
14.0 Audit & Finance Subcommittee Report
14.1 Review of FACS Report
§ The FACS report for the periods ending December 31, 2016, through February 28, 2017, were reviewed. (Please see Attachment 14.1.) Highlights of the report are as follows:
--No changes to original/revised budget.
--Expenditures were approximately $3.54M for this period (average of approximately $1.77M per month).
--During the reporting period, the remaining campus budget at Grossmont High School was reallocated to cover the amount over budget on the New Student Support Services/Arts Building project, and the remaining balance was incorporated into the New Events Center project.
--There was a $124K decrease to the forecast cost to complete the Grossmont High School New Student Support Services/Arts Building. The decrease was due to the closeout of contracts, including the General Contractor, material testing firm, and the project inspector. The project is now complete and the contract has been closed out.
--There was a $202K decrease to the forecast cost to complete the Valhalla High School Main Building Modernization project. The decrease was due to the closeout of contracts, including the material and specialty inspection firms.
--There was a $183K increase to the forecast cost to complete the Valhalla Interim Housing project. The increase was due to work that was performed to disconnect the utilities as required per Otay Water District. In addition, pre-design services were encumbered to support the design for site restoration. Additional costs will be forecast in coming months for the cost of the restoration.
14.2 Sale of Measure BB and Proposition U Bonds
§ On March 1 approximately $19M Prop U bonds and $43M in Measure BB, Series A bonds were sold.
14.3 $42M—Status/Maintain Set-Aside (Does the two-year limit apply?)
§ Ms. Wright reported that Bond Counsel has conferred with their tax attorneys and determined that it is prudent and legal to maintain the set-aside pending the outcome of the appeal proceedings.
15.0 Construction Oversight Subcommittee Report (R. Ball)
15.1 Construction Reports (Please see Attachment 15.1)
§ The Construction Oversight Subcommittee distributed an update (See Attachment 14.1); highlights included:
--Modernization of the 1100/1140/1200/1300 and Sitework/Admin/Café/Bldg. 800/Demo 900 project at Helix Charter High School is 55% complete.
--The Chaparral Administration/Classroom Restoration/Modernization project is 98% complete.
§ The following projects are in a Pre-Construction Phase:
--Demolition of the Grossmont 200/300 Building
--Modernization of the 80/30 Building at Granite Hills
--Special Ed Suites and HVAC Upgrades (project includes some Prop 39 dollars) at West Hills
--Events Center (or alternative), Student Support Services and five CTE classrooms at Mt. Miguel
--Chiller replacement and interim housing site restoration at Valhalla
--Multipurpose Room/PE Lockers at Santana
--Security cameras districtwide
§ A walk-through of the current Helix construction projects is planned for June 12 at 4:00 p.m.
16.0 Staff Report
16.1 Alpine Lawsuit Update
--Legal Fees Spent to Defend Alpine Lawsuit
Ms. Wright reported that $15,381 has been spent on the defense of Alpine's appeal. This brings the total legal fees spent to date to $3,215,381. The District expects the fees will increase after Alpine files its initial brief and we prepare our response. There is currently $234,600 in existing authority.
--Interest Earned on $42M Set-Aside (Please see Attachment 16.1.)
Ms. Wright directed the committee to the handout, which stated that $17K was earned in 2014/15, $156K was earned in 2015/16, and a total of $365K is estimated for 2016/17.
16.2 Update on District 2017/18 Budget and Potential Layoffs
§ Ms. Wright stated that the current forecast for the 2017/18 year shows deficit spending of $11.1 million. She added that there are a number of solutions that have been and or will be presented to the Governing Board in the last and upcoming board meetings.
17.0 Other Business (Chair)
§ Discussion was held as to having a tour of the twelfth high school site in Alpine at the last meeting. It was pointed out that if such a tour was to occur, it would need to be a noticed meeting.
§ Member Higgins inquired as to the status of the El Capitan traffic light. Ms. Wright responded that the District performed a traffic warrant stud, and that the light is on the County project list. However, the County’s road design work will not be complete until 2021.
§ Dr. Hurt reported that he attended the San Diego Taxpayers Educational Foundation's School Bonds Course, and stated that it was interesting and informative. Dr. Sparrow stated that he would like to hear an executive summary of the course in the future.
18.0 Future Agenda Items (Chair)
--Brown Act Review–date TBD (as determined by new members joining the committee)
19.0 Adjournment (Chair)
The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.