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Weston School 1st in line for upgrades
Bond replacing portables at Weston, Colony Oak
Ripon Unified Superintendent Louise Johnson in September pointed out a tree growing between portables where they couldnt be accessed to remove. Trees are uprooting the floors in some Weston School portable classrooms. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

Weston School appears to be the first in line for renovation under the Measure G projects.

That’s based on the preliminary timeline as provided by the facilities planning / public finance / program administration firm of Caldwell, Flores, Winters, Inc.

At Monday’s Ripon Unified school board meeting, Khushroo Gheyara, CFW chief operating officer based in Emeryville, indicated that the first bond sale, in turn, will help fund renovations to Colony Oak School.

“Weston will be done first,” he said. “We want to make sure that the bonds will be there for Colony Oak.”

Ripon voters gave the nod to the $25.2 million bond measure last November, which, under Proposition 39, will include three series of bond sales – current interest bonds, Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABs) and Convertible Capital Appreciation Bonds (CCABs) – that call for being issued three years apart.

The combined tax rate of the 2012 authorization coupled with the outstanding debt service of all previous bond elections is estimated at $57.65 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. CFW compared that to a house worth $100,000 meaning $57 in taxes on an annual basis to the owner.

Trustees, meanwhile, approved a resolution for the first series of bond sales to not exceed $15.5 million with a repayment length of 30 years, and the future series at $9.7 million for 25 years.

“A vote for the resolution could lock us in a low interest rate,” said Gheyara, who plans to notify the district via e-mail on those exact figures by next week.

He’s hopeful for the first bond sales to generate more dollars to make possible Colony Oak reconstruction.

Of that first series of bonds, Gheyara said, an estimated $3.6 million will fund escrow to pay off Certificate of Participation while $10.1 million will go towards reconstructing Weston, and $300,000 set aside for unexpected contingencies.

At the same time, $1 million would go to the Colony Oak reconstruction plans. “It’s important to get into the planning process (of Colony Oak) in order to be eligible for state aid,” Gheyara told the board.

He added that reconstruction at Weston is currently underway and, if all goes accordingly, could be completed and ready for the 2015-16 school year.

Colony Oak, under the CFW timelines, could be completed by 2018.

CFW noted that the overall project timeline is preliminary, subject to change, and subject to the availability of bond proceeds.

Plans for Weston and Colony Oak are being handled by the Modesto architect firm of Tim Huff and Associates.