Truckee school officials eye start dates for Measure U upgrades | SierraSun.com

Truckee school officials eye start dates for Measure U upgrades

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com
Rob Leri

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about when applications to be on the measures’ oversight committees would be available. Applications will be available sometime in January, according to the district, and a deadline for them to be returned is not yet known.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — School district officials this week said they are pleased with the adoption — albeit after a nail-bitting race — of the $114 million Measure U bond.

“We are thrilled that Measure U passed and are extremely grateful for the continued support from our community for education,” said Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Superintendent Rob Leri. “ … We have been optimistic since the initial results come out on Election Day.”

Preliminary results in Placer and Nevada counties showed 52.27 percent voted in favor of Measure U, which required 55 percent approval to pass.

Yet, after thousands of vote-by-mail and other ballots in both counties were counted, the measure to fund improvements to Truckee campuses in TTUSD ultimately gained 55.54 percent voter approval.

According to official results released last week, 2,700 people in Nevada County voted in favor, with 2,141 against. In Placer County, 318 votes were in favor, with 274 against.

Measure U joins Measure E, a similar measure proposed to finance $62 million in improvements for the district’s lakeside schools, in earning voter approval.

“The passage of the two measures will allow us to address each school’s needs…” said Kim Szczurek, TTUSD board president. “It’s great that both sides of the district will have equal opportunity for these upgrades.”

TAXPAYER MONEY AT WORK

TTUSD anticipates issuing its first bond series for U and E by the end of February 2015, Leri said.

The district estimates the maximum tax rate for U is $48.25 per $100,000 of assessed property value, while E is estimated at $29.75 per $100,000.

The actual rate for both measures will be based on the total amount of bonds issued and the market conditions at the time of issuance, Leri said.

The charge will appear on property owners’ 2015-16 tax bill, and taxpayers would likely pay off the bonds over 33 years.

E covers improvements at lakeside schools such as Kings Beach Elementary and North Tahoe High, while U covers campuses throughout the Truckee area.

Planned Truckee High upgrades include a new modular classroom building, roof upgrades for new snow loads, fire alarm improvements and classroom technology upgrades, Leri said.

A new parking lot, security and fire alarm upgrades, and a hands-on science lab are among items planned for Truckee Elementary. As for Glenshire, a new parking lot and bus drop-off; relocating two modular buildings; and increased security are planned.

Plans for Donner Trail Elementary, Alder Creek Middle, Sierra High and Sierra Expeditionary Learning School include flexible furniture and classroom technology improvements, among others.

“I can’t wait to see the first and then the last improvement happen,” Szczurek said. “We have lots of work ahead of us.”

CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE

A preliminary timeline anticipates construction at Glenshire Elementary from April 2015 to September 2015; Alder Creek Middle from May 2016 to October 2016; Sierra Expedition from July 2016 to November 2016; Truckee High from June 2017 to February 2020; and Truckee Elementary from April 2018 to October 2020, Leri said.

A Donner Trail work timeframe has yet to be determined.

At the lake, a preliminary timeline anticipates construction at Tahoe Lake Elementary in late 2016, Kings Beach Elementary in 2018 and North Tahoe in late 2021, Leri said previously.

To ensure funds are spent appropriately, a independent citizens’ oversight committee must be formed for both measures within 60 days after the school board enters election results into its minutes, according to California Proposition 39.

The law regulates the committee must have at least seven members, serving for a two-year term, for no more than two consecutive terms, without compensation.

Representation must include a member active in a business association; a member active in a senior citizens’ organization; a member active in a bona fide taxpayers’ organization; a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district; and a district parent or guardian active in a parent-teacher organization.

Applications for the committee will be available at the District Office, at each school site office and online. Applications will be available sometime in January, according to the district.

In addition, annual independent financial and performance audits will occur until bond proceeds are spent, according to the district.