When former Madera Unified school superintendent Ed Gonzalez was terminated earlier this year, he left a plan for meeting MUSD’s facility needs for the next 12 years. It calls for building seven new schools, making improvements at the two high schools, and buying some acreage for other uses.
In November 2016, the board revised the plan a bit and formally adopted part of it. Indications are the board will address the remainder of the plan in the weeks ahead.
Meanwhile, as it decides when and where the new schools will be built, the board will also have to wrestle with where it will get the money.
The plan that Gonzalez left and the one that the board is revising had a price tag of $649 million.
Gonzalez was banking on matching funds from the state, two local school bonds in the future, the district’s building funds, fees from developers, and one certificate of participation.
Passage of the $9 billion California Public School Facility Bonds Initiative last November went a long way to build confidence in the viability of the 12-year plan.
State matching funds are now likely to come, but other problems are looming large on the horizon.
Gonzalez had factored in cash from the district’s building fund to meet some of the construction costs, but opposition to using district money to build schools has surfaced in school board discussions.
Gonzalez was also counting on the passage of two local school bonds, but there is no certainty in those proposals.
As it now stands, the board will have to radically alter the 12-year plan if any of Gonzalez’s funding sources don’t materialize.
What follows is Gonzalez’s calculus for funding the 12-year plan.
Virginia Lee Rose Elementary School — Cost $32.6 million. Sources: Measure U bond, $18.5 million (passed in 2006); state matching funds, $10.8 million; Fund 25 (developer fees), $3.3 million.
New High School at Martin St. and Road 26 — Cost $155 million. Sources: Measure G bond $70 million (passed November 2014); state matching funds, $39 million; Fund 41 (district general fund money set aside for building) $46 million.
Concurrent Enrollment Tech Middle School — Cost $35 million. Sources: Future school bond in 2018, $23 million; state matching funds, $12 million.
Two Comprehensive Middle Schools — Cost $110 million. Sources: Future 2018 bond, $77 million; state matching funds, $30 million; Fund 41, $3 million.
Purchase of 10 acres for District Office — Cost $500,000. Source: Fund 41, $500,000.
Construction of new District Office — Cost $18 million. Source: Fund 41, $18 million.
Construction of new Adult Education Building — Cost $10 million. Certificate of participation, Fund 41, $10 million.
Purchase of 160 acres for future Educational Complex — Cost $10 million. Source: Future 2018 bond, $10 million.
Construction of New Elementary School — Cost, $44 million. Source: Future school bond in 2024, $20 million; state matching funds, $13 million; Fund 41, $11 million.
Construction of 4th High School — Cost $220 million. Source: Future 2024 bond, $130 million; state matching funds, $55 million; fund 41, $27 million; fund 25, $8 million.