PIEDMONT -- The Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education considered several different options for a school bond this year to raze and rebuild the Alan Harvey Theater and fund new classrooms and upgrades to the schools.

Superintendent Randy Booker has been holding community meetings to gather input from residents regarding the district's facilities.

At the Jan. 13 school board meeting, Blake Boehm of KNN Public Finance explained the district has bonding capacity of approximately $27 million for fiscal year 2015-16. Its outstanding bond indebtedness is $69.3 million. But the district's bonding capacity will increase based upon future assessed valuations of property and repayment of existing bonds.

As homeowners under Proposition 13 move out, the value of their homes would revert to the current market level prices, which are considerably higher. Homes in Piedmont range from $1.5 million and up. The total assessed valuation of Piedmont properties for 2015-16 is $3.8 billion.

"Last year was a strong recovery," Boehm said. "But we will never exceed the promised tax rates to voters."

He said there will likely be a $9 billion state facilities bond measure on one of this year's ballots.

"But schools with already approved projects by the Division of State Architects will be first in line for funding. Piedmont's proposed projects are not yet finalized nor approved by DSA," he said.


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Boehm laid out several scenarios ranging from $35 to the maximum allowable of $60 per $100,000 of a parcel's valuation. The $35 option would generate $38.4 million issued in two series. The $40 option would bring $43.8 million to district coffers, while the $60 option would bring in $65.8 million. All the proposed bonds would have a 29-year repayment term.

Razing and rebuilding the aging outdated Alan Harvey Theater is under consideration. Booker also emphasized that several schools need updated classroom space, new classrooms and other improvements to bring them into the 21st century.

Piedmont voters in June, 2014 rejected a bond measure of up to $13.5 million to finance renovations and upgrades to Alan Harvey. The measure needed 55 percent to pass; it failed with 51.4 percent of the vote.

During seismic upgrades and inspections of the schools several years ago, Alan Harvey Theater was not considered a collapse hazard during an earthquake.

Aug. 12 is the deadline for the school board to put a bond measure on the November ballot. The district and the board will continue to solicit input from the public before making any decision.

FYI
For the complete report from KNN Public Finance, visit www.piedmont.k12.ca.us.