The HUUSD School Board met Wednesday evening.
The majority of the meeting centered around the bond proposal for the high school and middle school, which will be put before voters on election day in November. This included a discussion around PCB testing, results from the recent bond survey, and a closer look at the projects included in the bond.
There are four main categories of projects the Board is considering:
- Compliance and Repairs at the high school. While the district has maintained the building carefully over the last two generations, many parts of its infrastructure have passed their useful life span and need to be replaced. In other cases, parts of the building do not meet current building codes/standards, which have changed quite a bit in the five decades since its construction. Compliance and repair projects include roofing, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, flooring, stormwater management, parking lot, vehicle storage, security, and the science labs. Total projected cost to address these issues: $22 million.
- Efficiencies & Improvements in the high school. Some of the projects in this section replace materials and items that are approaching the end of their useful life. Examples include things like windows that no longer latch properly, casework that has delaminated, and roofing that is 18 years into its 20-year lifespan. This bucket of projects also includes replacing or upgrading items to improve energy efficiency -- such as replacing windows with little or no R-value and adding insulation. Lastly, there are some cost savings to be gained from moving the HCLC back to the main building and bringing the central office staff over to the high school. Total projected cost to address these items is $14 million.
- Educational Alignment in the high school. The high school was built in 1965 and teaching and learning have changed dramatically since then. School leaders have identified a series of projects that will reshape the building and its use to be more congruent with today’s educational practices and standards. Examples include: creating subject area hubs to make collaboration easier for teachers; adding meeting spaces for student groups and class work; creating physical spaces to promote student wellness -- like bringing more natural light into the building, making guidance counselors and support staff more easily available for students, and creating alcoves for relaxed social interactions. The Board is also considering the possibility of adding a second gymnasium and replacing the track. The total cost for these projects ranges from $8 - $17 million.
- CBMS addition. As part of its long-term planning, the Board has decided to move all 7th and 8th graders to CBMS. This will allow the district to offer all students access to equitable educational opportunities even as it allows us to save quite a bit of money in operations. To house the new students and staff, the addition would include several new classrooms and student support spaces, as well as a flexible community gathering and learning space that could be used for student performances, whole team meetings, special events, etc. The total projected cost for this addition is $6 million.
The Board will finalize its bond proposal at its next meeting on Wednesday, September 15 at 6PM. This will be a hybrid meeting that can be attended in-person or remotely via zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/386460007), or viewed on youtube (tinyurl.com/huwebapp-youtube-live). There is extensive information on the bond planning available on the district’s website: https://huusd.org/prek-12-bond-plan.
As always, the Board welcomes feedback from our community. One of the easiest ways to share your thoughts is to send an email to [email protected], which will go to every Board member. There is also time at every Board meeting for public comment. Alternately, reach out to one of your neighbors who is on the school board and share your thoughts in a personal email or phone call (see a list of Board members and contact information at https://tinyurl.com/523wtrnj).