Schools & Education

Citizens’ Oversight Committee finds SBHS in good standing with school bonds

Minor cost overrun on Measure G projects was the only concern.

The Citizens’ Oversight Committee for two school bonds presented their findings for the fiscal year 2017-18 at a San Benito High School Board of Trustees meeting on March 26. Members of the committee assured the board and the public that the school was in good standing regarding Measure G and U, passed in June 2014 and November 2016, respectively.

The committee’s only concern was minor overspending on Measure G improvements.

“Overall, the Committee is pleased with the quality of the bonds program,” said committee chairwoman Debbie Simmons in a letter accompanying the report. “Based on the progress of the Measures G and U program, we are encouraged and confident the bond projects will finish on schedule, within budget, and in compliance.”

The report reviewed both measures and addressed how the school is currently performing.

Measure G is a $42.5 million bond to improve the quality of local education by ensuring students have access to modern classrooms and educational tools.

It includes:

  • Replacing/upgrading classrooms and labs to prepare students for college and careers
  • Repairing roofs, plumbing and outdated electrical systems
  • Adding 21st-century instructional/vocational technology
  • Improving school safety
  • Improving access for persons with disabilities

According to the report, Measure G expenses for the fiscal year 2017-18 are $43,090,548.

The overrun spending of $590,548 came from funds held in reserve for San Benito High School and from interest on the bond, said Director of Finance and Operations Roseanne Lascano.

Measure U is a $60 million bond to improve the quality of high school education, prepare students for college and careers, continue improving school accessibility, add classrooms and facilities to reduce overcrowding, upgrade aging student facilities and improve earthquake safety.

Measure U projects include:

  • Upgrading and making safety repairs to classrooms, science laboratories and other school facilities
  • Upgrading classrooms and facilities to ensure all students can access them
  • Improving access for students with disabilities
  • Upgrading earthquake/fire safety systems
  • Removing asbestos and other hazardous materials from campus buildings
  • Updating, repairing and replacing HVAC systems
  • Constructing and improving physical education facilities
  • Adding classrooms to accommodate student enrollment growth
  • Completing the visual and performing arts facility

According to the report, Measure U expenses for fiscal year 2017-18 are $20,715,392.

Superintendent Shawn Tenenbaum and the Board of Trustees said they were pleased with the report.

The oversight committee reviews annual independent financial and performance audits; makes physical inspections of the school buildings and grounds; reviews any deferred maintenance plans; prepares annual and final reports to the Board of Trustees and the public; and reviews the school district’s efforts to maximize bond revenues through implementation of cost containment measures.

The full report is attached.

 

Other related BenitoLink articles:

SBHS contemplates $60 million bond measure

San Benito High School board continues Measure U project prioritization

SBHS trustees discuss bond priorities

 

 

Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.