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Dublin School Board Approves Jordan Ranch Ground Lease, June Bond Measure

March 10, 2016

10981703_10154183966857345_6190894451809369145_nDUBLIN, CA–The Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees followed the lead of the Dublin City Council by approving the Jordan Ranch Ground Lease Agreement which sets the stage for Dublin’s next public school development, a K-8 school to address overcrowding at the middle school level. Fallon Middle School has reached its capacity of 1,500 students and new students are being redirected to Wells Middle School for the 2016-17 school year. The deal, which has generated controversy on social media, gives DUSD one year to fulfill a set of criteria, including securing funding, before the land is available for development. The deal also includes a joint use agreement for the Dublin High School Center for Performing Arts and Education, opening the theatre for City of Dublin use for a defined number of days during the year. The Board also voted to approve placing a bond measure on the June ballot. Both proposals passed unanimously.

Additional detail provided by DUSD:

The Dublin Unified Board of Trustees unanimously approved an Option to Ground Lease agreement that allows the district to begin site work on the E-5 Jordan Ranch K-8 school site. The Board’s vote at the March 8 regular meeting came a week after the agreement was approved by the Dublin City Council.

The Option to Lease establishes the requirements that need to be met by the District in order for the Superintendent and the City Manager to execute the Ground Lease Agreement. Those requirements include:

  • written confirmation from the District to the City demonstrating approval by the Board of Trustees of the use of the Jordan Ranch site as a school
  • written confirmation from the Board of Trustees of the sources and availability to adequate financing to construct the School Site and Park Improvements, along with a schedule for completion of the work
  • City review/approval of the Construction Plans for the School Site Improvements (review) and for the Park Site Improvements (approval) that would be attached to the Ground Lease as an exhibit; and 4) award of a contract for construction of the work reflected in the Construction Plans. The District may exercise the Option to Lease for a period of one year from its approval.

The Ground Lease Agreement (GLA), which will allow the district to lease the site from the City for the amount of $1 per year for 99 years, will be executed by the District once the conditions noted in the Option to Lease have been met.

As part of the Ground Lease Agreement Option, the Board also approved amendments to the existing Master Joint-Use Agreement between the school district and the City to include the Jordan Ranch site and established a new Joint-Use Agreement for City use of the Dublin High Performing Arts and Education Center.

“The Board’s approval of the Ground Lease Option Agreement, Master Joint-Use Agreement and the Joint-Use Agreement for the Dublin High Center for Performing Arts and Education represent an historic coming-together of the District and the City,” Superintendent Stephen Hanke said. “Our partnership strengthens our community and our ability to serve our students.”

The District is in the process of submitting plans for the Jordan Ranch school site to the Department of State Architecture (DSA). Once approved, construction will begin. The school is planned for completion and opening in the fall of 2018.

The Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees also voted at the March 8 regular meeting to place a $283 million general obligation bond measure on the ballot for the June 7, 2016 primary election.

The measure requires approval of 55 percent of the registered voters voting on the measure. Should the measure be approved, the District will be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $283 million (no more than $60 per $100,000 in assessed value) to provide financing for specific school facilities projects in the Bond Project List prepared by a district committee with stakeholder input from all areas. Bonds will be issued over a series of years as tax rates and assessed valuation allow.

The project list includes: the initial phase of a 2nd high school to meet projected enrollment growth, updating and replacing aging classrooms, updating science and laboratory spaces as well as computers and educational technology; and upgrading classrooms and facilities to meet current fire, emergency and safety codes.

The bond measure, which will be called the “Dublin Quality Education and Overcrowding Prevention Measure, will be Dublin Unified’s third since 2004. The Dublin community has previously passed a pair of bond measures, Measure C and Measure E. Those bond funds have been used for approximately 40 projects across the school district, including the complete renovation of Dublin High School as well as major facilities projects at Wells Middle School, Murray Elementary School, Dublin Elementary School and Frederiksen Elementary School. Bond funds have also supported a significant upgrade of the district’s technology infrastructure and equipment.

“We are especially grateful to the Dublin community for their long history of strong support for our school district,” said Superintendent Stephen Hanke. “The Board’s approval of the placement of a measure on the June ballot is a very important step in our continuing efforts to provide our students with a 21st century learning environment and is vital to prevent future overcrowding.”

The bond measure will be filed later this week at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters and the Alameda County Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for inclusion on the June 7 ballot. A campaign committee will be formed, which will handle all campaign-related activities until the election.

“The Board takes very seriously the responsibility of asking our community to continue to support our schools with a bond measure,” Cunningham said. “This bond measure is critical to help Dublin schools successfully meet the facilities needs of our growing community and to provide our students with extraordinary educational opportunities.”

The introductory text of the full bond measure is as follows:

“Dublin Quality Education and Overcrowding Prevention Measure: To protect quality education with funding that cannot be taken by the State, construct schools to prevent overcrowding; update aging classrooms/science labs; continue providing 21st century technology; ensure classrooms meet fire/safety codes and improve energy/operational efficiency, utilizing savings for instruction shall Dublin Unified School District issue $283 million in bonds at legal rates, with annual audits, citizens oversight, no money for administrators and all funds staying in Dublin?”

The full bond measure language can be found in backup materials attached to the March 8 Board meeting available here.

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