A combination of district staff and interested citizens participate in setting priorities for future improvements to district schools utilizing the $50 million bond authorized by county voters Nov. 8.

School district solicits ideas about how to spend Measure B funds

Approximately 30 people turned out in Quincy on Dec. 12 to help prioritize how the school district should spend Measure B funds.

The school district had a list of much-needed repairs to schools in the Quincy area and participants helped prioritize them. It turned out that two-thirds of those participating at the meeting worked for the school system.

Kristy Warren, assistant superintendent for Instructional Services with the Plumas Unified School District, adds additional options to the list of infrastructure needs for Quincy schools at the Measure B prioritization meeting Dec. 12. Photos by Steve Wathen

School officials handed out a list of needed repairs for Chester, Greenville, Portola and Quincy schools. However, the participants in Quincy dealt only with the approximately 88 projects listed for school buildings in Quincy or East Quincy. Participants were later allowed to add additional needs to the lists if they wished.

Most of the structures in need of repair were built in the 1960s and 1970s, with some much older. When asked how someone would know which repairs were most in need of being repaired, Wade Linford, maintenance foreman for the district, responded that all the repairs listed were desperately needed.

Relatively minor repairs included putting double pane glass in windows (most are single pane), repairing or replacing heating and air conditioning units in classrooms, repairing stairs and pipes, upgrading electrical and lighting systems, and installing security systems. Some of these cost only a few thousand dollars.

Rough estimates of some of the more expensive projects were replacing the boiler and heating system at Quincy High ($1.6 million), leveling the fields at Quincy High ($1.6 million), constructing four framed buildings to replace four old portable buildings at Quincy Elementary ($1.25 million), replacing a leaky low-slope roof at Quincy Elementary ($900,000), replacing the kitchen at Quincy Elementary ($850,000), replacing another leaky low-slope roof at Quincy High ($600,000), constructing two framed buildings to replace two old portable buildings at Pioneer/Plumas Charter School ($600,000), and replacing or repairing the canal around Quincy Elementary School ($500,000).

Participants were organized into three groups that took turns rotating around three stations. Each station had a separate list of projects and included staff members to answer questions. Board members were also there observing the proceedings.

Participants were allowed to study the list of needed repairs and pick four priority projects and then prioritize those projects from 1 to 4 using four different colors of stickers. Participants’ “votes” were then attached to the list of projects written on paper easel pads.

The estimate of needed repairs handed out by the school district for all the schools within the district came to $35.76 million. Measure B authorizes the district to borrow $50 million.

Measure B was needed in order to apply for state funding through state Proposition 51.

Proposition 51 also passed in November, which authorized $3 billion for the modernization of school facilities statewide. Under Proposition 51, the county would pay 40 percent of project costs and the state would pay the other 60 percent. However, if school districts lacked sufficient local funding, those school districts can apply for additional state grant funding that will cover up to 100 percent of the project cost.

If all of the Measure B money was matched by Proposition 51 money, this would pay for $125 million of repairs to Plumas County school infrastructure. However, that is not likely to happen.

The district’s last school bond measure was Measure A ,which passed in 2002. Measure A raised $15 million. In the end, the district received $7 million in matching funds from the State resulting in $22 million in repairs to schools.

Measure A money for infrastructure repairs ran out around 2009.

Bidding packets were also available at the meeting because the school district would like to see as much money as possible go to local contractors.

Contractors can obtain a bid packet by going to pcoe.k12.ca.us/pages/Plumas_Unified/District/Public_Works, by calling Ken Pierson at 283-6545 ([email protected]) or Lisa Cavin at 283-6500 ([email protected]).

People wishing to see the list of needed repairs and other information presented at the community meetings held in Chester, Greenville, Portola and Quincy will soon be able to go to the district’s home page, pcoe.k12.ca.us/pages/Plumas Unified, and go to the right, of three columns, on the home page for that information.