May 17, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Critical Decisions Loom for School Board on BB Funds:

The School District’s Chief Financial Officer Steve Hodgson told the School Board on September 6 that they would need to approve the conceptual project list for Phase I of the District’s Facilities Master Plan on September 27.

According to Hodgson, the approval is needed because of the concern that an eight percent inflation rate is “eating into the $268 million bond [measure budget] at about $1 million a month.” The voters from the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu approved Bond Measure BB last November to fund the projects proposed in the District’s Facilities Master Plan. Hodgson also pointed out to the Board that the “decisions made at the September 27 Board meeting will not be irreversible.”

Hodgson explained that there are also a number of other significant budgetary concerns, including “costs associated with keeping options open.” These expenses might come from “architects’ programming and schematic design for projects that do not proceed into detailed design and construction” or from a larger program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) project description that “could lead to additional time/efforts/costs not currently included in the project menu.”

The other budgetary concern is that the $268 million BB budget is only 25 percent of what is needed to finance the entire 20-year Facilities Master Plan. Hodgson noted that the District is hopeful they can supplement the bond funding with “possible State funding and joint use funding” as well as future bond measures.

Hodgson also emphasized that “commitments to build and construct cannot be made until the Program EIR and Facilities Master Plan and programming/schematic designs are completed.”

Projects for Lincoln and John Adams middle schools were discussed as well as projects for Franklin, Grant, Will Rogers and Roosevelt elementary schools. The budgets for the proposed projects are as follows: Lincoln, $16 million; John Adams, $8 million; Franklin, $ 7 million; Grant, $4.5 million; Will Rogers, $4.2 million; and Roosevelt, $8 million.

The District thus far has received over 30 proposals from architects and will be selecting the winning proposals in November, said Hodgson. Winners will receive a notice to proceed in December.

Hodgson also mentioned that the plan’s EIR Notice of Preparation will be circulated in October. The public input process on the EIR will therefore begin at that time, and the District expects the EIR process to be concluded by July of 2008.

Lastly, Hodgson recommended that the Board and the Measure BB Advisory Committee meet prior to the September 27 Board meeting for a workshop on the projects that need to be conceptually approved. The Board was very receptive to the suggestion.

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