PUSD will meet Feb. 25 to chart path after bond controversy
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Poway Unified School District board members will meet in special session on Feb. 25 to discuss how best to move beyond the capital appreciation bond controversy. A time for the meeting has not been determined, though superintendent John Collins said at Monday night’s regular school board meeting that it would begin in the afternoon, earlier than the normal 6 p.m. for board meetings.
The board is looking to brainstorm ideas for how to improve the handling of bonds in the future, with comments from the public. To help improve board processes and protocols when dealing with bonds, the board will be using previously given feedback from Jeff Mangum and his committee’s investigative report on the capital appreciation bonds, as well as feedback given in public comments and emails.
“The board is seeking input on this matter,” said board vice president Todd Gutschow. Gutschow said the public would be given time to speak to the board on the issue of how the board should approach the handling and approval of future bonds. “We’d like as many people there that are interested in the subject,” said Gutschow.
The board will also discuss the new (and possibly final) school in the district, School 39, which will be a K-8 school built in Del Sur. Possible school financing options to be considered by the board at the meeting include new Community Facilities District – Mello-Roos (CFD) bonds being issued, which are only payable by CFD property owners.
The final planned issue to be discussed and voted upon is the final guaranteed maximum price of School 39, which was discussed at the Monday board meeting, but postponed to allow the board members more time to fully understand the history of the issue. The final guaranteed maximum price the board will be voting on is $56 million, which Collins said was “in the ballpark” of other middle schools.
School 39 is planned to be opened in August 2014, and will have a capacity of 1,500 K-8 students. The campus is currently planned to be 156,000 square feet.
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