VACAVILLE — The school district received some good news in the form of a survey at Thursday night’s board meeting, which could pave the way for an eventual school improvement bond on an upcoming election ballot.
After hearing the positive news, Vacaville School District board members voted unanimously to enter into a consulting agreement with Isom Advisors to help with facility needs strategic and financial advice; and with Jones Hall, a professional law corporation, for bond and disclosure counsel services.
The Vacaville School District, with the help of Isom Advisors, is testing the public waters about putting a facilities bond measure on an upcoming ballot.
The survey targeted about 400 of the 42,000 registered voters in the district and assessed attitude toward the district, proposed projects and tax tolerances. Two-thirds of the voters polled think the district is educating children well, Jon Isom told the district’s governing board.
“There is a lot of good information here,” Isom said. “I think that voters tend to feel the district is doing a good job.”
Isom said that he’s seen improvement bonds fail in districts with great need but voters didn’t believe the district was doing a good job.
Based on the amassed survey information, Isom recommended that the district aim for the November election if it were to attempt a bond measure.
Isom’s presentation followed one by Leigh Coop, the district’s facilities department director.
Coop outlined steps taken in an ongoing facilities needs assessment that has taken the issue to a variety of stakeholders in the form of meetings and workshops in an effort to put together a cohesive list of district needs, by priority. Coop emphasized the need to prioritize because the needs outweigh the funding possibilities.
“We have a big list of facility needs – like when you remodel your house there is never enough money to do what you want,” she said.
The prioritized list of nine facility objectives, resulting from a January board workshop, puts technology and equity between schools as the top priorities. Nest is adequate core facilities, such as libraries, fields and gyms; safety and security such as fencing and cameras; career technology education, formerly vocational education; enhancement to athletic facilities, energy efficiency; replacing portables with permanent buildings – one-third of the district classrooms are portable; and better parking and traffic circulation.
“What’s hard about (ranking) is, of course, all of these are important,” Coop said.
The next steps include prioritizing major project types and focus, and continuing to work on funding needs.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.