Reward: New residence?

Extra money for our kids? Not so much!

It is recommended the Board authorize staff to engage Axia Architects, to create and submit plans to the Division of the State Architect for renovations and improvements of the Red Hill property. Staff also recommends that the anticipated receipt of State Bond Funds be allocated to reimburse the District’s General Fund for projects that would have otherwise been paid for with Measure A and/or State Bond Funds, and that these one-time restricted funds be utilized for renovations and improvements to Red Hill. Finally, staff recommends the Board authorize issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFPs) for Lease Leaseback (LLB) for the additional improvements for district property at Red Hill.

Background

The Red Hill property in San Anselmo (former site of “Red Hill Middle School”) has been in surplus status since 1985. Since that time, minimal repairs have been made on an ‘as needed’ basis, but overall the buildings are no longer up-to-date and comparable to our currently operating school facilities. The Board’s recent approval to perform lighting and heating improvements utilizing our remaining Proposition 39 Energy Efficiency Act funds, initiated a broader staff discussion regarding potential future uses of the facility. In evaluating these options, staff felt it would be premature to move forward with lighting and hearing replacements/upgrades, without a longer-range plan in place for the overall facility.

The Plan – After exploring multiple options and the pros and cons of each, staff began to focus on the idea of utilizing the first building on the Red Hill site (referred to as Building “B”), as a permanent District Office space. At the May 14, 2019 meeting of the District Facilities Advisory Committee (DFAC), this idea was presented and a preliminary draft plan was shared by Axia Architects. The Committee discussed the opportunity to convert Red Hill’s Building B into a permanent District office, which would include public space that the District could make available for joint use with the Towns of San Anselmo and/or Fairfax. Moving the District office to Red Hill would then enable the District to explore possible lease options of the current structure that houses the District offices today.

The Resources – At the February 7, 2019 meeting of the District Facilities Advisory Committee (DFAC), implementation of the Proposition 39 Energy Efficiency Act lighting and heating improvements project was discussed and subsequently approved by the Board of Trustees on February 12th. In addition, the Committee recommended that in the event further restricted facilities funding should become available, such funds could be coupled with this already approved project to complete other essential deferred maintenance needs at the District’s Red Hill property (e.g., roofing and abatement). Use of such funds in this manner enables the District to take advantage of economies of scale for much of the deferred maintenance needs at Red Hill. The District is fortunate that this funding opportunity has now manifested itself in the form of State Bond Funds, which partially reimburse the District for projects already completed. The District is scheduled to soon receive approximately $1.56 million in State Bond Funds.

There is never a guarantee a district in line for State Bond Funds will actually receive them. Yet these funds were anticipated and intended for use on various projects in conjunction with Measure A. Since projects in progress needed to be completed, but no State Bond funds had been released by Sacramento, some facilities projects were funded utilizing General Fund resources. Specifically, the General Fund absorbed our elementary school technology Infrastructure upgrades as well as our new Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system. Together, these projects totaled approximately $1 million.

The Implementation – Staff recommends a Lease-Leaseback approach to this project, with two phases. Phase I would consist of pre-construction services including demolition, abatement and any other work that does not require plan approval by the Division of State Architect (DSA). Phase II would consist of build-out/construction of Building B at Red Hill, to make it functional once DSA approval and all resources are obtained.

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unhappy parent
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unhappy parent

The Whitehill middle school is a wreck. The most awful string of new teachers – several have been / will be fired. Lots of exhausted and neglectful old teachers too. Entire grades have not learned math or Spanish all year. Heavy Stand presence hangs over the district and discourages parents from getting involved. One middle school teacher puts a Stand flag in his truck windshield every day parked in front of the school taunting charter school families. It’s embarrassing and despicable. The school district leadership will need a decade to salvage the middle school reputation and damage done. Majority of… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

whats the evidence that anyone wants to rent the current District office. our community wasted precious bond funds to create the District Office – where’s the financial justification for moving it? More square footage for admin? Who’s offices are getting bigger or smaller?

L Goldberg
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L Goldberg

justification ?
you must be new around here

Richard Marks
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Richard Marks

What strikes me about the comment above is that if you observe most online dialogue about the local schools you’ll recognize a pattern. The pattern is attack messengers that point out concerns or disappointments with district public education. What used to be a marker of healthy parent activism in the schools is now sacrilegious. I’ve read multiple parents labeled a trader ( or worse) for questioning district progress or direction. The district president Anne Capron pops in online and brow beats even the most thoughtful expression of concern while accusing people of intentional fear mongering or intentional misleading. There seems… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

More than 30 parents at Wade Thomas have written letters to the superintendent and school board asking them to have three 4th grade classes instead of two next year to avoid having very large classes. It will be interesting to see how the district responds. Where are the priorities? Who gets heard? Some of the letter writers talked about their contributions of time and money to the school/district. Others said they would consider moving to another school if class sizes are really large.

-Editor
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-Editor

Quite an outpouring. Here’s the link to BoardDocs. Look under Communication, #4. Correspondence

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Gee…it sure is a shame that there’s no model to emulate that makes mixed age and grade classrooms work. Oh wait – that was the ILC and MAP – wonder what happened to them?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Some of the most vocal grandStanders defending RVSD against any criticism now have to look at their own kids classrooms instead of wasting all their time resenting a group of parents and kids who voted with their feet. Too bad you didnt pay attention and supported Capron and Bagley’s obsession with fantasies enemies instead of focusing on the kids they were responsible for. What a shame you didn’t elect and support a governance team who were half as interested in education than in warfare.

local thinking
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local thinking

Parents are threatening to take their kids out of Wade Thomas to go where? Private? @ $30-40 thousand a year for one kid. Most households have two kids. Parents on fixed incomes can’t just materialize an extra couple thousand dollars + a month for tuition. Not to mention the culture of selectivity wealth and competition in private schools is not for everyone . Alternately there is now a free public school option in Ross Valley taught by educators with twenty years of public teaching right here in Fairfax. Now there is room for all interested families because the district does… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Option COULD have been to support authentic alternatives inside public schools but that was not going to be in the cards with Capron and Big Daddy Bagley running the my way or the highway show

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Very very costly to spend all your time
peering into your neighbors’ yards and grumbling about their impact on you instead of focusing on the fire in your own house…and even costlier to prop up leaders happy to have you distracted. And Wade Thomas had a lot of the Stand fire power dominating their parent club and the entire community conversation.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Let’s hope the RVSD leadership does the right thing and keeps the class sizes lower for the fourth graders next year (they are looking at 29-30 per class currently). Meanwhile, RVC 4th/5th grade classes are capped at 26 students, and are slightly smaller than that this year. There is room for a few more kids from Wade Thomas (or elsewhere) in the fall if you act soon. Great teaching staff, dynamic curriculum, supportive community–and moving onto a much more spacious campus!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Hey – STAND — know you’re no longer “standing with ross valley schools” but how about you help out your friends over there at Wade Thomas and advocate for the superintendent and school board to pay attention and respond to RVSD consumers? apparently things have been brewing for a few years with some unaddressed issues…since STAND helped the administration take its eyes off the prize (the students right in front of them) maybe it can now help actually advocate for the students RVSD directly serves.