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Ripon High nets $350K for stadium & computer labs

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POSTED January 17, 2013 12:59 a.m.

RIPON – The holiday season for giving may be over but not so at the Ripon Unified School District.

Trustees last Monday opted to dole out a significant amount of money from Fund 35 to go towards technology upgrades at Ripon High and all-weather surfacing on the Ds – that’s the two corner portions inside the track oval used for the jumping events – and American Disability Act requirements necessary for the ongoing Stouffer Field modernization project.

The board gave the OK for $100,000 to help replace both student computer labs at RHS, with $75,000 of that going immediately and the remaining $25,000 to be used as matching funds for a proposed RHS technology boosters club, according to Trustee Ernie Tyhurst.

Stouffer Field will receive $250,000 from Fund 35. Of that, $100,000 will go towards replacing the restrooms at the RHS stadium.

Funding not to exceed $50,000 will be used for:

• Upgrading classroom locksets district-wide.

• The D Building roof including asbestos abatement at RHS.

• The resurfacing of tennis courts at RHS.

Trustees also approved $15,000 to upgrade the sound system inside the RHS Multi-Purpose Room.

All told, $515,000 of the $528,000 in Fund 35 was spent from board action.

Superintendent Louise Johnson had initially recommended that the board hold these funds in reserve as additional protection of the general fund for debt service payments on the Certificates of Participation on the school farm property on Clinton South Avenue.

Trustees, however, were confident that bonds from the voter-approved Measure G from last November will help take care of the school farm property.

Fund 35 is the money from which RUSD set up years ago for the receipt and allocation of California State Building Projects under matching funds school modernization and new construction or Measure J reimbursement,

“An important distinction to understand is that the funds held in Fund 35 are not Measure J general obligation funds – all Measure J bond funds have been compliantly spent on Measure J projects and the bond oversight committee was disband,” said Johnson.

She added: “The money in Fund 35 comes from state building funds and we (were) advised that they must be spent on projects that would be in compliance with construction projections that would be (otherwise) eligible for the expenditure of state funds.”

Johnson also said that the board’s decision in expending of these funds was “in the spirit of the intention of Measure J.”

Measure J was passed by the voters in 2002 and made possible Park View Elementary School, the day school later named in honor of former Superintendent Leo Zuber, and modernization projects at both Ripon High and Ripon Elementary schools.

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