New school in the works for Burton School District
District to secure hardship funding
It might not happen until 2015 but the Burton School District, in line for a new elementary school, is moving forward with plans for a new campus.
The announcement was reported Thursday by Wendy Jones, Chief Financial Officer, to the Burton District Board of Trustees during its regular scheduled board meeting.
“We have met the eligibility requirement to ask for Secure Hardship Funding,” Jones said.
The funding for the K-8 school is made possible following the results of the CALPADS, California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, Annual Collection Data report, done across the state each October to determine the projected growth of a school.
“It’s a kindergarten count to project or predict how many classroom seats we might need in the future,” said Sharon Kamberg, Deputy Superintendent of the district. “With that same count, it turned out we are eligible for hardship funding for a new 440-student seat school.
This puts us on the list for eligibility for new funding. Of course, the state has no money right now but there’s a planned general bond measure for June or November 2014.”
If the bond passes, money will be available for a building fund. For the Burton School District, it would be $9.2 million for construction of the approximately $12 million cost for a new school.
In the meantime, Jones said, all paperwork must be filed, including DSA — Division of the State Architect, which provides design and construction oversight for K-12 schools and community colleges — plans.
“We must have everything in place by October 2013 — plan, DSA, soil report, property in escrow,” Jones said.
But, in order to move forward, up-front costs for the plans and the deposit for the property need to be paid. Jones recommended the board approve moving forward with the New Eligibility and Secure Hardship Funding through State Building Program.
“We realize we are asking for a lot really quick,” Jones said. “If we don’t meet the time line, this eligibility passes us and we would have to wait and pray we meet the eligibility again.
The application and approval is needed now. Then, we wait for the state to release funds.”
Plans must be approved in 90 days, she said, making June 1 the deadline.
The location for the new school is a 12-acre plot of land owned by Alan Changala, conveniently located across the street from Summit Charter Collegiate Academy.
“This will be a small school,” she said. “We’re looking at an approximate $1 million investment toward the project.”
Board members Eddie Hernandez, Jay Rice and John Burkey voted 3-0 to pass the action item. Board members Shelbie Akin and Phillip Giannetto were not present, having left the meeting early after citing other obligations.
“We’re moving ahead with the paper work and the expenditure of the land acquisition and testing,” Kamberg said. “We’re very excited. We’re already bursting at the seams at the Lombardi campus and we’re not even in it yet. The new building will be built as K-to-8 for versatility and it will probably be Spring 2015 before construction starts. It will be our 10th school but considered the ninth school in the district.”
Burton School District currently operates eight schools within its boundaries and one school formerly run by Tulare County Department of Education — Burton Pathways — located less than a third of a mile east of the district’s boundary.
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.