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It’ll take three years to complete work on 1st school

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POSTED March 5, 2013 1:42 a.m.

Members of the Measure G Citizens’ Oversight Committee made the planning and design of Colony Oak and Weston schools to be conducted concurrently as one of their priorities on Monday.

They met for the first time at the Ripon High library, discussing duties and responsibilities since their recent appointment by the Ripon Unified school board.

According to consultant Yuri Calderon – he’s the chief operating officer at Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. – the oversight committee is in charge of reviewing expenditures for the voter-approved $25.2 million bond measure, making sure that these expenditures are in line with the project list, and reporting back to the public.

“We have two schools operating with 1980s portables as classrooms,” Superintendent Louise Johnson said. “Measure G will help renovate (Colony Oak and Weston), payoff some debts plus some land purchase.”

Calderon added that now is a good time for construction with the Prop. 39 school bonds. “Interest rates are at an historic low,” he said.

This proposed program includes three series of bond sales – current interest bonds, capital appreciation bonds (CABs) and Convertible Capital Appreciation Bonds (CCABs) – that calls for being issued three years apart.

Calderon pointed out to the combined tax rate of the 2012 authorization with the outstanding debt service of all previous bond elected estimated at $57.65 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. “If a house is worth $100,000 it would mean $57 in taxes on an annual basis, or a $200,000 home at $114 in taxes,” he said.

The committee also supported a financing scenario in which the first bond series may need to have a term of up to 30 years in order to guarantee the minimum amount of proceeds required to fund all planning expenses and projects under the first phase. Calderon indicated that this scenario complies with all existing state laws but awaits state AB 182, which, if passed, would further regulate the issuance of school district obligation bonds.

“But the repayment length (25 years future series) could allow for work on the second school,” he said.

Calderon estimated that the first school – either Colony Oak or Weston – could take at least three years to complete and “six to nine years to complete the project list,” he said.

In addition, Calderon suggested handling renovation plans for Colony Oak and Weston at the same time in order to keep both projects balanced.

“That way you’re not putting too much into one and taking away from the other,” he said.

The project list also includes paying off the Clinton South parcel currently used as the Ripon High school farm. This site is also being considered for a second high school.

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