Most Los Altos School District meetings this year have been marked by the tension and complexity as board members sought to balance school construction financing in an inflationary environment with meeting community expectations. The $94.7 million bond issue has resulted in passionate discussions over scaling-down expectations and balancing the needs of different sites.
However, the tone of the Nov. 6 board meeting was less emotional and more informational. It reflected the holding pattern in place while staff, board and citizen-based Construction Oversight Committee (COC) enter a fact-finding phase before deciding on a new master plan.
Dave McNulty, director of facilities construction, summarized a new strategy for school renovation, modernization and/or construction:
Junior high schools - completion of work as originally specified;
Elementary schools - update and create a new district master plan which would define district standards and create site master plans. Phase 1, perform health, safety, infrastructure and modernization upgrades; and Phase 2, provide new construction as identified by the master plan as soon as possible.
McNulty said Egan Intermediate School is under construction and work is proceeding on the completion of the Blach junior high design.
Construction bids for Covington School are scheduled back on Nov. 22. All work, based on the original master plan specifications, has stopped on the design of the elementary schools.
Officials said investigation is under way on the evaluation of existing site conditions at all the elementary schools (Covington has been completed).
The gating factor for further discussion and decisions is the Covington site bid, scheduled for Nov. 27.
This information is expected to provide district staff and COC members with updated construction costs in today's real dollars.
The information will assist them in evaluating the feasibility of the new strategy based on phasing some of the original project.
By Feb. 5, 2001, the district staff expects to have updated assessments of elementary sites, identified Phase 1 site requirements, updated budgets and confirmed ability to execute the new strategy.