During the current school year, the district has had to close eight classrooms, two bathrooms, the library, and the multiuse room at Corte Madera School for repairs due to mold and water damage.
Tom Ledda of the San Mateo County Schools Insurance Group told the board that even after insurance coverage, the district could be responsible for as much as $450,000 toward the cost of the repairs, which totaled over $1 million.
The district does not have the funds to pay its share and will likely have to take a loan out from the San Mateo County Office of Education, the district's Chief Business Official Connie Ngo said.
If a bond measure is passed in November, it could make the district eligible for matching funds from the state that could help repay the loan, Superintendent Eric Hartwig said.
School board members plan to decide in late June if they want to put a bond measure on the November ballot. They are working on details of a facilities master plan showing what improvements are wanted and needed.
Hartwig said the school has maintained its facilities, but some were built with outdated construction methods and materials. "A lot of what failed was on (the facilities plan's) end of life list," Hartwig told the board. "The fact that they were failing didn't surprise us."
Corte Madera School has 15 classrooms built in 1958, 1960 and 1964 while Ormondale has 14 classrooms built in 1961 and 1976 plus two 30-year-old "temporary" portable classrooms.
The board also heard from Chris Hiatt of Keygent, the district's financing consultants. Under a state law allowing school bonds to be approved with 55 percent of the vote, an individual bond measure may not add up to more than $300 per $1 million in assessed valuation to property tax bills. That amount of debt would bring the district between $42.3 and $48.3 million, depending on the type of bonds issued, Hiatt said. The bonds that would bring more money to the district have a higher payback cost, she said.
Hiatt said property owners in the district currently pay the third-lowest amount in the county on school debt (based on the assessed value of property). Adding a new bond would bring the district to about mid-range in the county, but higher than neighboring districts.
The district will still be paying off earlier bonds until 2032, Hiatt said.
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