Another Quarter of a Millions Dollars on the Great Gird Money Pit

MAY 10, 2018 Another Quarter of a Millions Dollars on the Great Gird Money Pit

Even though it has not yet completed the legally-required CEQA Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process, Bonsall Unified School District ‘s (BUSD) board  approved (Item 9.2)  to spend another quarter of a million dollars on the Great Gird Money Pit, Attempt #6 to build a huge high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. This check, for $242,093, goes to Baker Nowicki for design development work. The design development stage, says BUSD (which follows the schematic design phase which cost $181,569), “is where the District and the community will work collaboratively to incorporate the high school educational program requirements with aesthetic and functional design parameters.”

Amazing. The community is working “collaboratively” to design a project the community has rejected five times at the ballot box and is still  in the middle of its Draft EIR process. Price tag so far for design work for a site the BUSD Board’s wants but the community does not? $423,662.

At the same time, BUSD’s reserve are below the legally-required 3% minimum so it had to file a Special Interim  Financial Report. Oddly, the report does not appear to include reserves for paying off capital appreciation bonds ($5M borrowed in 2007 which will cost district residents $18.4M in principal and compounded interest).  Budget reductions resulted in the termination of the Technology & Learning Coordinator (Craig Leach) and the resignation of Facilities Director David Medcalf’ (last day May 31). Medcalf is the key contact for the Draft EIR. BUSD High School Principal Lee Fleming is leaving for another job to start July 1. Yes, BUSD has a high school with 18 classrooms, 10 in a brand new building opened in 2016. At 27/classroom, that’s capacity for 486 students. Current enrollment: 328. Graduating class of 2018: 56 students. Yes, this is the high school that wants to build for 1,500.