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MDUSD to hold community meeting regarding Bay Point master plan

By Theresa Harrington
Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 11:26 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school district will hold a community meeting Monday to discuss plans for schools in Bay Point.

Here is the meeting notice:

“Community Meeting Agenda

COMMUNITY MEETING: MASTER PLANNING FOR BAY POINT SCHOOLS

MARCH 5, 2012
7:00 – 9:00 PM
RIVERVIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL MULTI-USE ROOM

Mt. Diablo Unified School District is hosting a community meeting at 7:00 pm on March 5, 2012 to present and discuss information related to the master planning for all District schools and sites in the Bay Point community. The District is in the process of collecting information for a draft master plan on how to utilize the Bay Point sites to best meet the educational needs of the students in the community. At this meeting the District will share information about the master planning exercise and will solicit ideas and information from parents, caregivers and community members regarding the use of these schools and the educational programs supported at the Bay Point schools. Besides determining optimal use for the various school sites in Bay Point, the community and district will need to collaborate to determine on how to fund the master plan recommendations.

For questions regarding the March 5th meeting please contact Pete Pedersen at 925-682-8000 ext.85610.

REUNIÓN DE LA COMUNIDAD: PLAN MAESTRO PARA LAS ESCUELAS DE BAY POINT

5 de MARZO de 2012
7:00 – 9:00 PM
RIVERVIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL
SALÓN DE MULTIUSO

El Distrito Escolar Unificado Mt. Diablo está patrocinando una reunión de la comunidad a las 7:00 pm el 5 de marzo de 2012 para presentar y discutir información relacionada al plan maestro de todas las escuelas y locales del Distrito en la comunidad de Bay Point. El Distrito está en proceso de obtener información para un borrador del plan maestro sobre cómo utilizar las escuelas de Bay Point para que puedan llenar mejor las necesidades educativas de los estudiantes de la comunidad. En esta reunión, el Distrito compartirá información sobre el ejercicio del planeamiento maestro y solicitará ideas e información de parte de los padres, cuidadores, y miembros de la comunidad respecto al uso de estas escuelas y los programas educativos apoyados en las escuelas de Bay Point. Además de determinar el uso óptimo para las distintas escuelas en Bay Point, la comunidad y el Distrito tendrán que colaborar para determinar la forma de financiar las recomendaciones del plan maestro.

Si tienen preguntas respecto a la reunión del 5 de marzo, por favor contacten a Pete Pedersen al 925-682-8000 ext.85610.”

During the school closure discussions, district officials expressed the need to expand schools in Bay Point for the growing population in East County. These discussions included ideas such as building a new high school, converting Riverview MS into a 7-12 school and/or expanding elementary schools to grades K-6.

Although the $348 million 2010 Measure C ballot language did not mention anything about building a new school, it did include school improvements. The board approved a study of Bay Point school facilities using Measure C funds, even though that study was not listed in the ballot measure project list.

Do you think the district should build or expand schools in Bay Point? If so, how should the district fund these projects?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Seriously…

    I can’t help but wonder if the Baypoint schools are built, what are the chances that those schools end up in the Pittsburgh Unified School District while we are all paying for such schools using our Measure C funds?

  • Doctor J

    Consultant just “brain storming” ideas ? ROFLOL. Check out his survey monkey that ONLY lists his three ideas as “choices”. http://baypointmasterplan.com/
    If it wasn’t costing us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars [at today's cost and not to be repaid for 40 years], it would be a good joke. But it is costing us an arm and a leg, so that makes Nacht & Lewis Architects qualify for the “Golden Fleece Award” in ripping off the taxpayers of MDUSD. I doubt they have even read the school closure studies and statistics. But they are just hired guns under the direction of the Lawrence/Eberhart consortium.

  • Theresa Harrington

    The Schreder consultants who did the School Closure studies also presented the demographic information last night. So, they are very familiar with the school closure studies and statistics. It will be interesting to compare their new data with the data they presented to the School Closure Committee.
    One parent came up to me very upset after meeting in a small group with the Schreder consultants. She said she told the consultant that no one liked option #3, and suggested that the consultants should just eliminate it from consideration. She told me the consultant responded that the school board could do whatever it wanted. The woman told me she then thought: Then what are we doing here?
    Already, there is suspicion that this input gathering is just an exercise the district is going through to give the appearance of listening to the community.
    The consultant said the survey has space for people to suggest other ideas. But some at the meeting said an online survey is not the best way to solicit input in Bay Point, since many residents don’t have computers or access to the Internet. They also said the PowerPoint and survey should be translated into Spanish, if the district is serious about soliciting feedback in this community.
    As previously mentioned, many also said the district should hold another meeting and do a better job of informing the community about it through robocalls and flyers sent home with students.

  • Doctor J

    Jack Schreder, father of Gary Eberhart’s employer, getting paid from Measure C funds without Board approval as a sub-consultant to Nacht & Lewis ? Wow, way too much “co-habitation” here. Nacht & Lewis is really going for the Golden Fleece award hands down. Its all just a deceptive ruse. A re-election campaign stunt by Eberhart and Whitmarsh to buy votes from Bay Point — because they aren’t getting any from Clayton voters, are they ?

  • g

    Please everyone, do the survey that Dr J lists. You don’t have to identify yourself at all. It has cookies, so if you want to say more than there is space for, and want to do it more than once you have to clear your cache and cookies between each try.

    Riverview acreage is the same as Mt. D, the largest in the district. All of the other sites are way too small for a middle or high school to have even minimal sports fields.

    Why do they have to build now? Because a school district is not allowed to just own land that it doesn’t use. They finalized the Alves deal in 2007 as a K-8 dedication. They MUST build within 5-6 years or pay an annual penalty. I didn’t save the site where I read all of this so I’ll look for it and add a link later.

  • Theresa Harrington

    As I mentioned, one student and parent said that soccer fields would be critical in this community. The consultant said that if a middle school were built on the Alves site, students might have to do mostly indoor sports.

  • g

    As for losing ADA if a new high school is built. Under current border configurations, I believe Mt D. population is almost 50% from over the hill.

    Mt. D specifically could lose about 50% of its population and its ADA. Drastic consequence!

  • Doctor J

    @G#57 – Lawrence was counting on that MDHS academy config would draw lots of the CVHS kids — NOT ! Only 3 of 1200 — what a collossal disaster !

  • MoMx3

    Dr J, I still don’t believe PAC is subject to Brown. There are no decisions, nothing of substance, not even a roberts rule style or order. It is informal, sit around the table and discuss issues at your school site. That’s it. Please show me where it would go under the Brown Act, but I still haven’t rec’d my agenda, is it still on for tomorrow night I wonder?

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: MDHS would also lose a big chunk of its QEIA grant, since it is based on enrollment.

    Also, I have asked Pete Pedersen if it’s true that the district must pay a penalty on the Alves property if it doesn’t build on it soon. Here is his emailed response: “Absolutely not.”

  • Doctor J

    @MoMx3#59 G quoted it recently — the PAC is a Board created “committee or subcommittee” and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make “decisions” — it “advises”, and that is subject to the Brown Act open meeting law. I suggest you go the California Attorney General Website for their big summary of the Brown Act or the First Amendment Coalition for their “primer” on the Brown Act. Remember that AB 1344 passed last September, and effective Jan 1, 2012 requires the Agenda to be posted 72 hours in advance on the website !

  • Doctor J

    Since Lawrence won’t be providing bussing to the Alves Ranch school site, and most likely it will be an elementary school based on its lack of play fields, does it meet the “California Department of Education Walkability” test for young children ? http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/fa/sf/documents/walk.pdf

  • Seriously…

    G – I think you are onto something. Could it be that the City of Pittsburgh has an agreement and timeframe for how long the Alves Ranch can remain undeveloped?

    The Alves property, like you have already pointed out, was not disclosed in the ballot of 2002 Measure C and therefore, was an illegal transaction. I don’t understand the rational behind justifying this transaction when at the time of purchase, there was not sufficient funding to build on Alves Ranch. So I believe there was a willful intent to deceive the voter of 2010 Measure C and to use these funds to build new schools. It also disturbs me that the land is not appropriate to accomodate a middle or high school or perhaps any school. Why make matters worse and build a school on this property. The district should do the right thing and not build and sell the land.

  • Doctor J

    @Seriously#63 Here is the CDE School Site Selection Criteria. A wealth of information is on the CDE site for choosing school sites and all kinds of needs and requirements. It won’t take long until you know more than Pete Pedersen !http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/fa/sf/schoolsiteguide.asp

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have also asked Pete Pedersen about the Schreder contract.
    Here is his emailed response:
    “They are working as a sub consultant to Nacht and Lewis on this. The contractual relationship is between them. Our contract is with Nacht and Lewis only.”

  • Doctor J

    @TH#65 So what ? What was the “wink and nod” between Nacht & Lewis and MDUSD about using Jack Schreder, father of Gary Eberhart’s employer ?

  • Wait a minute

    Dr J,
    This is no different then the fact that Stevie Lawrence was being secretely wined and dined by “Chevron Sherry” Whitmarsh’s employeer while discussing a lucrative contract for the solar.

    Wink and a nod there too and Eberhart may have also benefitted as the VP of Solar Development for Jack Schreder’s son’s company Schreder Construction.

  • g

    Seriously @63. The problem is not with Pittsburg (yet). I found my facts a few years ago, when I first started paying attention to Alves. Building within a certain time frame is State/ED code. I just can’t find it now.

    Also, as to selling the property–no one but MDUSD is stupid enough to pay a million dollars an acre for raw land!

  • g

    What I would like to know is WHY WAS THERE NO PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE ALL OF THIS TOOK PLACE? Discussing it twice at Measure C BOC does not constitute “Public Hearing”.

    CDE CODE: 14011. Procedures for Site Acquisition State-Funded School Districts. (this goes for “partially state funded” too)

    BEFORE THE DISTRICT BUYS LAND FOR A NEW SCHOOL SITE IT MUST: m. Conduct a public hearing by the governing board of the school district as required in Education Code Section 17211 to evaluate the property using the standards described in Section 14010 of this article. The school district’s facility advisory committee may provide an evaluation of the proposed site to the governing board.

    The complete History of Alves: At the 3/3/05 Measure C BOC meeting, Nicoll FIRST presented the idea of using $5million of measure C to buy Alves property for a K-8 site.

    Then beginning on April 12, 2005, this transaction begins appearing on the Board “Closed Agenda” as property negotiations. It was on Closed Agenda in April, May and August 2005. Then, several times in 2006.

    A full Eighteen months after it was first mentioned to BOC, at the 9/6/06 Measure C meeting: “John Ferrante questioned where the district was regarding the new school in Pittsburg. Dick Nicoll explained that the district will be presenting an agreement to the school Board on September 12, 2006, regarding the actual purchase of the school site. Although we are not ready to actually build, we have been able to negotiate a very good purchase price of 11 acres in the Alves Ranch development for $10,850 million. The district will receive 50% matching funds from the state.”

    —–
    From what I can find–the very first time it comes to the Public Agenda is in Minutes from the Board on 9/12/06: “Action 9.3 –Alves Ranch Purchase Agreement–
    The City of Pittsburg General Plan incorporates plans for a school site in the Alves Ranch Development. Negotiations between the owner of the Alves Ranch Property and the school district have been conducted and finalized. The District agreed to the purchase price of $10,850,000 to construct a K-8 school. Funding Source: Measure C Funds – $5,000,000; (and) Proposition 55 Funds – $5,850,000

    And no public mention that it is only 11.3 acres!!!

    —–
    And the real kicker to the outrageous price paid is what the county says the 11 acres is really worth. 2011 total assessed Value $1,177,513.

  • MoMx3

    Dr J what does the PAC advise? Its a bitch session about lights being burnt out, solar taking up playground space, and to avoid every issue of importance. I asked is a “council” the same as a “committee?”

  • Doctor J

    Pete Pedersen better start reading the standard MDUSD contract — that’s why construction managers are required by law to be licensed contractors and Pete isn’t. Pete, SHOW ME the “written” permission of MDUSD for Nacht & Lewis to use Jack Schreder’s company as a sub-consultant. The Sept 27, 2011 “Independent Contractor” contract between MDUSD and Nacht & Lewis says in Section 1.a: “Subcontractors may be used with the written approval of the district only.” SHOW ME the “written approval”.

  • Doctor J

    The School Board did not participate in the selection of Nacht & Lewis — the ubiquitous “staff”, without Board participation, selected them from 14 applicants: “A total of fourten (14)architectural firms submitted proposals in response to the RFP. Staff short-listed this larger group to five(5) final firms. Interviews with each of the firms were conducted and staff has determined that based on these interviews, proposal content and reference checks that Nacht and Lewis Architects (NLA)was the most qualified firm.” Since these interviews were not open to public scruitiny, there is no telling what was discussed or suggested to Nacht.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, but the board approved the contract. Only Trustee Lynne Dennler asked if the cost was included in the Measure C projects list. Pete Pedersen told her it was a “contingency” cost. The Measure C budget includes $10.1 million in contingency costs.

  • Doctor J

    @MoMx3#70 Calling it either council or committee makes no difference. See MDUSD AR 1220 which says: “Meetings of the above councils or committees shall be open to the public, and any member of the public shall have the opportunity to address the council or committee during the meeting on any item within its jurisdiction. Notice of the meeting shall be posted at the school site or other appropriate accessible location at least 72 hours before the meeting, specifying the date, time and location of the meeting and containing an agenda that describes each item of business to be discussed or acted upon. (Education Code 35147)”. And of course the AR has not been amended to conform to AB1344 yet requiring the posting of the Agenda and Notice on the website 72 hours in advance.

  • g

    Yes, Theresa, but this board will approve anything.

    In 2009 the State Auditor slammed San Diego UHSD for inappropriate spending of bond funds:

    “The money was spent on relocatable facilities that were used as administrative offices rather than as classrooms, and for housing and demographic studies” http://www.caltax.org/waste/waste_education.html which includes a link directly to the BSA audit.

    Pedersen may have chosen Nacht & Lewis precisely because they have Engineer in their title, but what they did was a $160,000.00 “housing and demographic study” further evidenced by the help of Demographer Jack Schreder!

    When contracts are approved, we should be able to see at least the runners-up, or considering the Measure C plan room is set up to show all bids, and has in the past, we should be able to see them there.

  • g

    It’s a shame if all the PAC does is sit around and bitch about burned out lights—Please file Williams Safety Complaints.

    Just one of the more specific duties of the PAC is to act as “Advisors” for the SPSA. This is not doing “nothing of importance”. Maybe the PAC has lost its direction.

    MoMx3, you are showing sincere interest, and that is laudable. I encourage you to take a stronger stand, and help the district get on the right track.

  • Doctor J

    Wow G, nice audit reference. MDUSD could take a “page or two” from that San Diego audit. State Auditor Elaine Howle recommended in June 2010: “Ensure that descriptions of the school board’s meeting agenda items and minutes contain sufficient information to convey the substance of the items accurately, and post to the school district’s Web site all relevant documents and presentations related to agenda items.”
    Cheryl Hansen has been getting slam dunked by Eberhart and Whitmarsh for the past month on her pointing out the deficiencies in the minutes, Theresa is constantly complaining about the failure to post to the website “all relevant documents”, and I have been complaining about the poor posting or non-posting of the Agendas in a timely manner on the website.
    I think its about time Elaine got an invite to come to Dent Center for an audit !

  • g

    Dr. J: I found the section on School Facilities Districts, bond sales and refunding bonds very interesting and very easily understandable.

    Unfortunately, even with Alicia Minyen’s help, I have not been able to exactly figure out step-by-step all of the Bond maneuvering deals from 1998, 2002-4-6, 2010-11-12 with their swap this, refund that etc, as easily as it was to read the first 7 pages or so of that particular State auditor’s report. http://www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2009-116.pdf

    I would love to see something broken down like that for us. I hoped for far too much from the Christy White-wash.

  • MoMx3

    Well they did spend a lot of time hearing about the homework policy and the new report cards. They sometimes throw the PAC a budget update. But it is a very small group. And the same people you see at all the district volunteer functions, as is usual in volunteer circles.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Seriously, I spoke to Trustee Gary Eberhart, who said that the district will not spend 2010 Measure C money to build a new high school or a school on the Alves property.
    “There is no Measure C funding that is available to be used for buildlng a high school in Bay Point or building anything on the Alves Ranch property,” he said. “If we did that, we would have to not do something that we already said we were going to do and that’s not going to happen. We’re actually trying to do some fore-planning to ensure that we are prepared for the future so that we can best serve the students in the Mt. Diablo school district.”
    He said he has not yet decided whether he will run for re-election.
    Here is my story on Monday’s meeting: http://bit.ly/xvy6vZ

    I also just spoke to Superintendent Steven Lawrence, who said he viewed Monday’s meeting as the beginning of a community dialogue. He said more meetings would be held and that the district would translate the PowerPoint and survey into Spanish.

    Regarding funding, he said he didn’t anticipate using 2010 Measure C money that has been earmarked for other parts of the district to accomplish the plan.

    “We’ve made a commitment to the community around how we would utilize Measure C,” he said. “And as we’re working with the Bay Point community — and the funds that are allocated for those schools out there — then we would see how we could best utilize those funds. But we’re still committed to doing projects at all the other schools in the district.”

  • Theresa Harrington

    MoMx3: I have received notification from the district that the PAC meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled.

  • g

    Who, besides me, sees a very very expensive Lease/Leaseback build arrangement in Bay Point’s future (ala SLS Construction style).

    Come to think of it, I don’t think SLS has actually gotten the contract on a decent build job in a few years, so maybe it’s worth it for Gary to give up the Board now, start a couple years of back room slight-of-hand negotiations and promises to keep himself and the district out of hot water, and show back up in a couple years as BMOC at Schreder.

  • g

    Probably the first option they will try to push — Happy Mello Roos Bay Point! So sorry it isn’t tax deductible.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#80 So if the District won’t use Meas C money, what justifies use of “C” money as “contingency” to do the “Master Plan” ? My contractor friends tell me “contingency” money is used for “over budget” projects. Now Eberhart and Lawrence are spending contingency money before there is even an approved project. Isn’t that backwards ?

  • Seriously…

    Theresa, Thank you for getting clarification from Eberhart.

    I’m very happy to hear that the district plans not to use 2010 Measure C money for the new schools. G is right in that one alternative for funding could be Mello Roos, which seems more fair, although expensive to Pittsburgh residents.

    Hopefully, Mello Roos will be the source of funding instead of Certificates of Participation or lease/leaseback, which would be very expensive to the district’s general fund.

  • Seriously…

    @84 – Dr. J. – Sounds backwards to me too! I noticed that “contingency” money is well padded into the Measure C budget. It will be interesting to see how the remaining “contingency” money will be spent.

  • Alicia

    @78 G- The audit report you provided explained different types of bonds than those refunded under our 2002 Measure C. The audit report appears to reference revenue bonds issued by a Community Facilities District pertaining to Mello Roos special tax revenue.

    However, I was wondering G if you know what our $67 (charged every six months) Mello Roos tax is paying for? I always wondered why Pleasant Hill pays this tax since we don’t have any new developments.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Dr. J: The entire board approved the expenditure of contingency money. The board, the public and the BOC can question whether that’s backward.
    The district originally planned to ask for about $300 million for Measure C, I believe. As I recall, that’s what they polled voters on.
    Then, when it came time to approve it for the ballot, another $48 million was added on.

  • g

    Alicia @87 Mello Roos (Measure A)is, for all intents and purposes, the MDUSD slush fund. It buys a desk here, a USB cable there and makes loan payments for some schools. It is handy if your school needs a $200.00 vacuum, or a $13,000.00 picnic bench.

    I can’t even imagine what balance it might hold. But, 150 square miles of tightly packed houses at $67 per, and new building on every hill within view–for over 30 years… hmmm, that has to be a lot of money, plus interest– but yet, the district had to borrow money from Pittsburg to build Delta View? Of course that gave us the “left over” $5Mmmmmm to buy Alves.

    Forget pay as you go! I suspect “A” also does more than its fair share of loan transfers in/out, to cover several other funds.

  • Robert Rees

    I asked the District to provide me a copy of the Needs Assessment supporting the high school concept. This is a document that describes the social/educational needs for a community and how to target money to align with those needs. To date, the District has not provided such a document.

    My son goes to Bay Point and early childhood education is lacking. They have some facilities but they are in poor condition and too small to really be effective. Research strongly supports pre-school as early prevention.

    I am still hopeful that the District will provide this document so that I can understand the educational research supporting a new high school rather than to early childhood education.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Robert: Do you know if such a document exists? I am not aware of it, if it does.
    Trustee Cheryl Hansen told me in an email that she has asked the superintendent to give the community information about the history of discussions regarding school planning in Bay Point and Pittsburg, so that everyone knows what has transpired up to this point.

  • Doctor J

    I think a PRA request to the CDE for documents submitted to them by MDUSD to support the Alves Ranch property purchase would provide a wealth of information on the “needs analysis” and determine if there are significant changes since then would justify a change in use.

  • Theresa Harrington

    The public shouldn’t have to send a PRA to the CDE.
    The district should disclose this information itself and provide a much more comprehensive report to the community than was presented Monday, that clearly answers the question: “Why is this necessary?”

  • Doctor J

    @TH#93 Can the district be trusted to disclose ALL of the information accurately ? I think there are many of us that have experienced the “hide the ball” tactics, failure to disclose accurate information, and misleading information provided by the district. As you pointed out Theresa, within the last two weeks, the information provided by MDUSD to CDE on the MDHS QEIA waiver is not trustworthy. I would rather trust CDE’s providing the documents, rather than guessing or speculating if the ALL the information is being provided.

  • g

    No one but Hansen understood that when the Board, yet once again, followed Eberhart/Rolen down the garden path and hired Jack Schreder (5/10/11) to study realignment at Meadow Homes (the disguise target) AND Delta View (The Real Target), that it was directly aimed at the goal of building at Alves.

    However, at that time, Alves was never mentioned in public, and rarely mentioned in more than a “whisper” at Dent. No one “in the know” wanted the public to go out there and see that land until it was build-ready.

  • Educator

    As a parent with a child in a Bay Point school, I have received no information about a needs analysis supporting the redistribution of students in the Bay Point area. In fact, I was only notified of the “Bay Point Master Plan Meeting” by automated phone message 2 1/2 hours prior to the meeting. Needless to say, I could not make arrangements to attend the meeting and I am sure many other parents and community members were in the same position as I was. We were essentially excluded from participating. My concerns are:
    1) There has not been a needs assessment conducted that supports this proposal. How do we know this is best for the education of students in Bay Point, and the district as a whole?
    2) Through the actions of the district, it appears that the district wants to “push through” this project without adequate planning, visioning and community input
    3) This proposal would essentially isolate the Bay Point community, eliminating access to programs and opportunities now afforded to students (i.e. academies, internships with businesses, exposure to a diverse student population)
    4) Since the district has closed schools to save money on operating expenses, how will the district support the operation of a new school?
    I have emailed my concerns to district staff and the board. There has been no response…or maybe no response is a response!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Although Superintendent Steven Lawrence told me there would be more meetings, none have been scheduled yet, to my knowledge.
    Also, although the consultant promised to post the Powerpoint from the meeting on the new Bay Point Master Plan website, that has not yet been done.

  • Doctor J

    Rumor has it that tonight’s hastily called and secret parent meeting at Delta View is to announce the Board’s plans to eliminate bussing at Delta View — funny that I don’t recall the Board ever discussing this in open session. I wonder if the Board members even know about this meeting and the premature announcment of their decision. Hmmmmmm.

  • Theresa Harrington

    After the governor announced plans to eliminate transportation busing, Board President Sherry Whitmarsh told me the district might have to cut its busing costs. But, you’re right that such a plan has not been brought to the board for discussion or approval.
    If such a plan is discussed tonight, parents should ask who initiated and approved it. The agenda for Monday’s board meeting should be released in a few hours. I wonder if it will include busing cuts.

  • g

    Somehow, Dr. J, I suspect talk will get around to discussing the luxury of having a new middle school in their very own back yard…. Can we expect some updated and hopefully correct (this time) demographic numbers and maps from Grampa Jack?