BERKELEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOND PROPOSITION
FULL BALLOT TEXT
By approval of this proposition by at least 55% of the registered voters voting thereon, the Berkeley Unified School District shall be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $380 million in aggregate principal amount to provide financing for the specific school facilities projects listed below in the Bond Project List, subject to all of the accountability safeguards specified herein.
SECTION I: KEY FINDINGS
- The Berkeley Unified School District (“District”) has served the community for well over a hundred years. The success of District students is a direct reflection of the great teachers, staff and leadership, challenging academics, and strong community support they receive.
- The District has made considerable progress in repairing, upgrading and improving our local schools over the past several years. The District is more accessible to all students and has upgraded instructional technology, improved student safety and repaired some of the aging school facilities.
- School safety and security is a high priority for the District and additional school improvements are needed in order to better prepare campuses to ensure the safety of students from natural disasters and other threats and risks.
- In order to ensure that students are ready for college and/ or career, provide additional facilities and modernizations to support opportunities for career technical education, as well as improved facilities to support science, technology and other aspects of 21st century
- The District is committed to continuing a strong educational program for the students it serves, and to attracting and retaining quality staff by providing safe and secure schools that are equipped to support changing educational needs, methods and standards. The Board, acknowledging the significant benefit that the prior bond programs have provided for District students and the community, desires to build upon this success by raising additional funds to address the additional needs described herein.
SECTION II: ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES
The provisions in this section are included in this proposition in order that the voters and taxpayers of the District may be assured that their money will be spent to address specific facilities needs of the District, all in compliance with the requirements of Article XIII A, section 1(b)(3) of the State Constitution, and the Strict Accountability in Local School Construction Bonds Act of 2000 (codified at section 15264 et seq. of the California Education Code).
Evaluation of Needs. The District’s Board of Education (“Board”) has prepared an updated facilities plan in order to evaluate and address all of the facilities needs of the District at each campus and facility, and to determine which projects to finance from a local bond at this time. The Board hereby certifies that it has evaluated safety, class size reduction and information technology needs in developing the Bond Project List.
Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee. The Board shall establish or empower an existing independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (pursuant to Education Code Section 15278 et seq. of the California Education Code), to ensure bond proceeds are expended only for the school facilities projects listed in the Bond Project List. The committee shall be established or empowered within 60 days of the date when the Board enters the results of the election in its minutes.
Annual Performance Audit. The Board shall conduct or cause to be conducted an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the school facilities projects described in the Bond Project List.
Annual Financial Audit. The Board shall conduct or cause to be conducted an annual, independent financial audit of the bond proceeds until all of those proceeds have been spent for the school facilities projects described in the Bond Project List.
Annual Report to Board. Upon approval of this measure and the sale of any bonds approved, the Board shall take actions necessary to establish an account in which proceeds of the sale of bonds will be deposited. As long as any proceeds of the bonds remain unexpended, the Superintendent shall cause a report to be filed with the Board no later than December 31 of each year, commencing on the first December 31 after bonds have been issued and proceeds spent, stating (1) the amount of bond proceeds received and expended in the past year, and (2) the status of any project funded or to be funded from bond proceeds. The report may relate to the fiscal year or other appropriate annual period as the Superintendent shall determine, and may be incorporated into the annual budget, audit, or other appropriate routine report to the Board.
SECTION III: BOND PROJECT LIST
This Bond Project List, which is an integral part of this measure, describes the projects the District proposes to finance with proceeds of the bonds. All information contained within this “Section III: Bond Project List” (hereinafter “Bond Project List”) comprises the list and description of permissible projects and expenses that may be paid from bond proceeds.
Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by this measure shall be used only for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities on the Bond Project List, including the furnishing and equipping of said school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for said school facilities, and not for any other purpose, including teacher or administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.
In order to meet all identified facility needs, the District intends to complete the following projects using a combination of funding sources. Other anticipated sources may include joint-use funds, development impact fees, state funds, and other available funds. The District will pursue state matching funds if and when they become available, and if received, they will be used for and mainly applied to projects on the Bond Project List or other high priority capital outlay expenditures as permitted in Education Code section 17070.63(c) or as otherwise permitted by law and regulation.
Unless otherwise noted, the projects in the Bond Project List are authorized to be completed at each or any of the District’s sites, as shall be approved by the Board:
|Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary
|John Muir Elementary
|Sylvia Mendez Elementary
|Malcolm X Elementary
|Rosa Parks Elementary
|Thousand Oaks Elementary
|Willard Middle School
|M.L. King Jr. Middle School
|Longfellow Middle School
|Berkeley Adult School
|Berkeley High School
|B-Tech High School
|1810 Hopkins Pre-school
|Plant Operations/Maintenance Facility
|West Campus Facility
While the District has budgeted to complete specific projects, due to potential cost escalation, unforeseen conditions, and other factors, placement of a project on the Bond Project List is not a guarantee that every project listed will be completed. Furthermore, while no specific project is dependent on the receipt of state funding for completion, approval of this measure does not guarantee that all projects on this Bond Project List at all listed sites will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this measure. The District’s proposal for the projects assumes the receipt of some state matching funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.
Specific projects to be funded by the bond measure may include, without limitation, and in no particular order, the following:
A. BERKELEY HIGH SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS
- Complete the modernization of Berkeley High School Florence Schwimley Little Theater, including seismic upgrade and remove the accessibility barriers to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and
- Replace antiquated Heating and Ventilation system in Building This project may include ancillary structural and finish upgrades to accommodate the new system
- Construct a parking structure on the existing parking lot/tennis courts located on Milvia Street. Parking structure to be multi-level and to accommodate staff parking and will include tennis courts on the roof to support the BUSD tennis program, physical education and community use when not in use by BUSD
B. CONSTRUCTION OF NEW PROJECTS AND ACQUISITION OF NEEDED EQUIPMENT
- Construct new classrooms and classroom buildings to accommodate growth in enrollment, including elementary and pre-kindergarten enrollment
- Construct new Career Technical Education center and technology training classrooms, classroom buildings, science labs and other facilities, and renovate, rehabilitate or reconstruct classrooms and facilities to accommodate career, technical and science education.
- Acquire and install or upgrade classroom technology equipment and fixtures, including computers, digital projectors, cameras and similar
- Upgrade, replace existing or acquire new school, office and District-wide computer and data, voice, and audio-visual communications systems, including computers and computer network equipment and electrical infrastructure to accommodate technology
- Acquire and install solar electricity generation and distribution systems, including rooftop installation of solar panels, construction of parking lot shade structures and other structures to support solar panels and related infrastructure, and electrical system enhancements to accommodate solar power. Rehabilitate and replace such systems and equipment as needed in the future.
- Acquire and install energy-saving improvements, including upgraded insulation, efficient lighting, windows and window coverings, shade canopies, energy management and conservation systems, and other passive
- Construct new or renovate existing kitchens and serving areas at school
- Seismically renovate or replace District Maintenance, Food Service, and Warehouse buildings.
- Furnish and equip schools, classrooms, science and technology labs, gyms, school offices, and other District facilities, which may include desks, chairs and classroom furniture, computers and audio-video production equipment, science, lab and technical equipment, kitchens and culinary equipment, gymnasium and physical education equipment, school site maintenance equipment, moveable partitions, copy machines and other school office equipment. Furnishing and equipping shall include initial purchases, and scheduled and necessary replacements, upgrades and updating technology.
- Construct classrooms and classroom buildings, laboratories, libraries, lecture halls, multipurpose rooms, theaters, art and music instruction and recital rooms, and other educational facilities, gymnasiums and other physical education facilities, and maintenance and support facilities, to meet expanding and changing educational program needs at all grade
C. RENEWAL OF BUILDING SYSTEMS AND REPLACEMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF EXTERIOR GROUNDS
- Upgrade, replace and install improved building infrastructure systems and system components, including for plumbing, gas, electrical, lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; water supply, sewer lines and storm drains, and connections to city
- Upgrade, replace and install smoke and fire detection and suppression systems, and security systems, including cameras, intrusion detection, and alarm systems; doors and door locks, windows and window locks; public address, telephones, and emergency
- Renovate, replace or construct classrooms that have not yet been modernized, including doors, windows, walls, ceilings and floors and finishes, carpets, drapes, window coverings, lighting, sinks, fixtures and
- Renovate, replace or construct and equip school kitchens, cafeterias, and teaching kitchens, including school gardens, food preparation, food storage, serving and dining areas.
- Renovate, replace or construct other educational support
- Construct or renovate restrooms as needed to support population size, remove accessibility barriers, and meet Americans with Disabilities Act
- Install, construct, renovate or rehabilitate site improvements, including pedestrian paths, sidewalks and walkways, exterior shade canopies and rain structures, outside gathering and eating areas, lawns, quads and courtyards, benches; landscape improvements, irrigation and drainage; vehicle roads and parking, including reconfigured or new pickup/drop-off areas, ingress, egress, traffic lights and mitigation.
- Install or replace exterior safety lighting, fencing, security monitoring and alarm systems, signage, electronic message
- Renovate, replace or construct physical education playgrounds and athletic fields and associated facilities, including all-weather tracks, natural or artificial turf fields, courts and stadiums, lighting, bleachers and restrooms. Provide storage for physical education, athletic and grounds maintenance
- Resurface, refurbish, repair and paint building
- If and as opportunities become available, and to the extent the Board determines that bond funds are available for the purpose, acquire additional locations and construct, convert, renovate or improve such additional locations as the Board determines may be necessary and appropriate to serve designated educational purposes.
D. PERFORMANCE OF ADDITIONAL NECESSARY AND INCIDENTAL PROJECTS
- Remove, dispose of, and otherwise remediate hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead, ; address other unforeseen conditions revealed by construction or modernization (including plumbing or gas line breaks, dry rot, seismic and structural deficiencies, etc.). Acquire or construct other improvements required to comply with building codes, including seismic safety requirements, the Field Act, and access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Perform necessary site preparation or restoration in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of relocatable classrooms, including demolition of structures; removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, drainage, utility lines (gas, water, sewer, electrical, data and voice, etc.), trees and landscaping; relocating fire access roads; and acquiring any necessary easements, licenses, or rights of way to the property.
- Acquire or construct storage facilities and other space on an interim basis, as needed to accommodate construction materials, equipment, and personnel, and interim classrooms (including relocatables) for students and school functions or other storage for classroom materials displaced during construction.
- Lease any of the facilities on the Bond Project List or acquire through lease-purchase or other appropriate financial arrangements; execute purchase option under a lease for any of these authorized facilities or other District facilities currently under lease.
Listed projects, repairs, improvements, rehabilitation projects and upgrades will be completed as needed. Projects may be done in phases, based on the Board’s priorities. Decisions regarding the scope, timing, prioritization or other facets of project implementation will be made solely by the Board by subsequent action. Where terms such as “renovate,” “modernize,” “upgrade,” and “improve” are used in the Bond Project List, the Board has the discretion to determine the best method for accomplishing the project’s objective. For any listed project involving renovation or modernization of a building or the major portion of a building, the District may proceed with new replacement construction instead (including any necessary demolition and building relocation), if the District determines that replacement and new construction is more practical than renovation, considering the building’s age, condition, expected remaining life, comparative cost and other relevant factors. In addition, where feasible, projects may be completed in partnership with other public or private agencies on a joint use basis using bond proceeds, subject to federal tax rules and regulations.
Each project is assumed to include its share of costs of bond issuance, architectural, engineering, legal and similar planning costs, construction management, bond project staff and consultants, staff development and training expenses associated with learning construction techniques and approaches and new bond-funded equipment and systems, the furnishing and equipping of all projects, including equipment to maintain facilities in a safe and clean condition, and a customary contingency for unforeseen design and construction costs. Payment of the costs of preparation of facilities planning and project implementation studies, feasibility and assessment reviews, master planning, environmental studies, permit and inspection fees, Division of State Architect (DSA) – related requirements, studies and assessments, including ADA and seismic, and temporary housing and relocation costs for dislocated programs or activities caused or necessitated by projects on the Bond Project List are permissible bond expenditures.
The final cost of each project will be determined as plans are finalized and projects are completed. Based on the final costs of each project, certain of the projects described above may be delayed or may not be completed. Necessary site preparation, grading or restoration may occur in connection with acquisition of property, new construction, modernization, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of modular classrooms, including ingress and egress, removing, replacing or installing irrigation, utility lines, trees and landscaping, relocating fire access roads and acquiring any necessary easements, leases, licenses or rights of way to the property.
While no specific project is dependent on the receipt of state funding for completion, approval of this measure does not guarantee that all projects on this Bond Project List at all listed sites will be funded beyond the local revenues generated by this measure. The District’s proposal for the projects assumes the receipt of some state matching funds, which could be subject to appropriation by the Legislature or approval of a statewide bond measure.
SECTION IV: ADDITIONAL SPECIFICATIONS
No Administrator Salaries. Proceeds from the sale of Bonds authorized by this proposition shall be used only for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities on the Bond Project List, including the furnishing and equipping of said school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for said school facilities, and not for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.
Joint Use. The District may enter into agreements with the City of Berkeley or other public agencies or nonprofit organizations for joint use of school facilities financed with the proceeds of the bonds in accordance with Education Code Section 17077.42 (or any successor provision). The District may seek State grant funds for eligible joint-use projects as permitted by law, and this proposition hereby specifies and acknowledges that bond funds will or may be used to fund all or a portion of the local share for any eligible joint-use projects identified in the Bond Project List or as otherwise permitted by California State regulations, as the Board shall determine.
Single Purpose. All of the purposes enumerated in this proposition shall be united and voted upon as one single proposition, pursuant to Section 15100 of the California Education Code, and all the enumerated purposes shall constitute the specific single purpose of the bonds and proceeds of the bonds shall be spent only for such purpose.
Other Terms of the Bonds. The bonds may be issued and sold in several series, and in accordance with a financing plan determined by the Board of Education pursuant to requirements of law. When sold, the bonds shall bear interest at an annual rate and with a term not exceeding the statutory maximum. Furthermore, the weighted average maturity of each issue of bonds will not exceed 120 percent (120%) of the average reasonably expected economic life of the projects financed by the bonds, consistent with federal tax law. Bond funds may be used to reimburse the District for Bond Project List expenditures incurred prior to the election and bond issuance, in accordance with federal tax law.
The number of years the whole or any part of the bonds are to run shall not exceed 40 years from the date of the bonds or the date of any series thereof.
Attention of all voters is directed to the fact that the foregoing information is based upon the District’s projections and estimates only, which are not binding upon the District, nor are the summary estimates, if any, provided in the Ballot Label. The actual tax rates, debt service and the years in which they will apply may vary from those presently estimated, due to variations from these estimates in the timing of bond sales, the amount of bonds sold and market interest rates at the time of each sale, and actual assessed valuations over the term of repayment of the bonds. The dates of sale and the amount of bonds sold at any given time will be determined by the District based on need for construction funds and other factors. The actual interest rates at which the bonds will be sold will depend on the bond market at the time of each sale. Actual future assessed valuation will depend upon the amount and value of taxable property within the District as determined by the County Assessor in the annual assessment and the equalization process.
In preparing this information, the District obtained reasonable and informed projections of assessed property valuations that took into consideration projections of assessed property valuations made by the County Assessor, if any, in accordance with Education Code Section 15100(c).