PIEDMONT -- The school board is now supporting lowering the amount of the bond measure to $13.5 million to revamp Alan Harvey Theater, with final action to be taken at the Wednesday meeting.

The election is proposed for June 3. The board was looking at $14.5 million originally. Many questions have arisen from residents as to the high cost, what work would be done and why. The district has prepared an FAQ sheet to inform residents. It can be found on the district website at www.piedmont.k12.ca.us.

President Rick Raushenbush explained that one costly facet of the plan is to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act requirements. Assistant Superintendent Michael Brady said that plan checking and inspection by the Division of State Architects (mandated for any school construction) could run $70,000 to $100,000. There also would be contingency funds budgeted for unknown factors as the work progresses. More than half of Piedmont students use the theater on a daily class basis in addition to plays, shows and assemblies with audiences.

In other business: The district received a clean report from independent auditor Jill Stenton of Vavrinek, Trine & Day for the 2012-13 finances. The auditors check to ensure compliance with record-keeping, reconciliation, cash disbursements and the like.

She noted some minor areas needing attention. Cash disbursements are not reconciled on a monthly basis for Millennium High. Some journal entries lacked backup. There also were some discrepancies in attendance reporting.

"We will keep track," Stenton said. "All is well, with no questions" after auditors discussed the minor fixes with management who promised to correct them, she said.

Stenton added that the district has $81 million in long-term debt, mostly bonds. The complete report can be viewed at www.piedmont.k12.ca.us/board-of-education/meeting-materials and click 2012-13 annual financial report for board meeting of Jan. 8.

During a discussion of compliance for active/retired employee medical benefits, Brady said there will be a long-term savings of about $1 million because of negotiated benefit caps. The district employs a "pay-as-you-go" model for current and post-employment medical benefits and expects to pay out $450,000 for this year.

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