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story.lead_photo.caption California High School Photo by David Wilson / California Democrat.

After a report suggesting the California school district is in a position where it could prepay existing bonds, the Board of Education discussed preliminary projects that could be undertaken if a 2020 bond issue were passed.

At the Feb. 20 school board meeting, representatives of Larry Hart and Company, a financing company, told the board the assessed evaluation growth rate for the district has centered around 2 percent over the past five years. It's been just above 6 percent over the past 20 years.

Additionally, representative said, the tax levy has been constant at 3.94 percent over the last three years, which helped the incidental fund to decrease due to the Hancock Amendment. The representatives commended the board, saying this could help to prepay the bonds that are already in place. The representatives then gave the board an estimation for the bond capacity to be between $9.25 to $9.75 million.

With this information, the board discussed preliminary projects that could be put in place if the elementary, middle and high school buildings are reconstructed.

Superintendent Dwight Sanders suggested several projects:

Construction of an addition between the elementary and middle school campuses; estimated cost would be $9.5 million.

Safety upgrades, such as placing security cameras in all three campuses, placing lockout devices to have secured entries on each classroom door and a vestibule type entry to each building that includes two sets of locked doors. Those wishing to enter each building would need to enter the first sent of doors and get buzzed into the second set. Estimated cost would be $100,000.

A technology upgrade for the district. Estimated cost would be $43,215.

Replacing the elementary school gym with wood. Estimated cost would be $70,000.

Converting remaining lights from fluorescent to LED. The change could save the district a substantial amount of money, as LED lights do not need to be replaced nearly as often as fluorescent lights. Estimated cost would be $28,800.

The safety upgrades and the coversion from fluorescent lights to LED

The board discussed running a Guaranteed Performance Contract to pay for the light and safety upgrades.

Upgrades to heating and cooling systems.

Converting the lighting fixtures at the California Performing Arts Center from fluorescent to LED lights.

Replacing the rubber roof at the high school. The district's insurance company said the $150,000 project can be paid nearly in full from the district's deductible, meaning the replacement would only cost around $1,000.

Gary Baker, elementary school principal, outlined the preliminary design of a new elementary building. The kindergarten, first- and second-grade classrooms, as well as the multipurpose room, would be demolished to provide a parking area along Stella Street. In anticipation of growth, the original design called for five preschool classes. But budget constraints limited the design to two preschool classrooms.

A multipurpose area would be built between the elementary and middle school campuses to provide an area for students to have recess during times of inclement weather. The area could also house students in three different grades for pickup or drop-off time before and after school. Plans also allotted for the multimedia room to have more space for a green room for broadcast production.

The district has discussed moving the fifth grade into the middle school, a discussion that has taken shape in the new plans that were explained at the Feb. 20 meeting. The plans allowed for five additional classes for fifth grade in the middle school and five sixth-grade classes.

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