Upcoming modernization projects may move along sooner than expected for the Garden Grove Unified School District, it was revealed Tuesday night as board members heard a presentation of the usage of the Measure A Bond Program.
Many projects related to infrastructure were completed and modernization of several school sites has also begun. However, up to 39 future protects are up in limbo in terms as start dates due to a new regulation from the State Allocation Board.
Rick Nakano, assistant superintendent of business services, said while the decision holds tremendous significance, the projects will still be pursued and funded.
“There is no way we are going to give up our funding because our students need it,” Nakano said.
Margie Brown, a consultant of the bond program, explained that the district’s original request included plans of multiple years of planning and processing.
However, due to the new policy, the project’s priority funding request must be presented to the board in the period requested. The next funding period is May 8 through June 6.
Districts have the option to not participate in the funding period, but must participate in the next period or lose the allotted funding. This means, the district will have to participate in the next funding period which starts Nov. 13 through Dec. 12.
Brown said the Board’s decision may require that all contracts be approved by April 2014.
Measure A, which was approved by voters in 2010, allocates about $250 million to modernize and repair facilities for the GGUSD.
However, about 60 percent of the project’s more than $450 million budget is funded through state bond funding, Nakano said.
The district does plan to appeal the state board’s decision, but are preparing for the upcoming challenges that may arise, Nakano said.
“The challenge is managing the scope of the projects,” he said. “Hiring more consultants, project managers, more architects.”
“It’s just taking what we have already and scaling it up,” he added.
Nevertheless, several improvements were presented during the meeting for board members to see.
This included new fire and smoke detectors. It also included modifications related to the American with Disabilities Act, which featured new concrete pavements, more accessible restrooms, modified drinking fountains and modified sinks for classrooms.
Also, water, gas and electrical improvements at some sites were completed.
GGUSD board members also approved accepting about $236,000 in gifts during the meeting. President George West said the donations will be used to further benefit the students of GGUSD.