The spending begins

Marsha Sutton
Marsha Sutton

By Marsha Sutton

The current financing schedule for San Dieguito Union High School District’s $449 million Proposition AA bond shows that $160 million Series A bonds will be issued this April, which is about one-third of the total.

Three more draws are planned over the next six years: $125 million Series B in 2015, $100 million Series C in 2017 and $64 million Series D in 2019.

The first draw of $160 million will be separated into Series A-1 bonds for $10.8 million, which is taxable, and tax-exempt Series A-2 bonds for $149.2 million.

The $10.8 million Series A-1 money will be used to repay 2010A Qualified School Construction Bonds, which were issued to fund solar projects at two of the district’s schools three years ago. Prop. AA’s ballot language listed this repayment as an intended use of part of the bond money, making it legal.

According to SDUHSD’s Feb. 7 school board report, the largest portions of the Series A-2 money in the first draw, the $149.2 million, will be allocated as follows:

•$52.5 million for the new middle school in Pacific Highlands Ranch, for land purchase, design work and construction

•$27.7 million at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, for artificial turf field, synthetic track, stadium reconstruction and a new math/science building

•$20 million at Canyon Crest Academy, for fields and athletic facilities

•$14.4 million on the La Costa Valley school site in Carlsbad, for a multi-purpose room and athletic fields

•$13.4 million at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, for technology infrastructure, media center remodel and planning for future construction

The rest will be used for lower-cost projects at the two middle schools in Encinitas, planning for future construction at Carmel Valley and Earl Warren middle schools, small projects at Torrey Pines High School and district-wide technology infrastructure.

Eric Dill, SDUHSD’s associate superintendent of business services, said about $20 million in this first draw will be spent on design work and the approval process for the first phases of construction on each of the school sites in the Master Plan. These are projects that require substantial architectural and engineering design and need extended lead time for the state approval process.

“Most of those construction projects will not start until we receive funding from our second draw which is estimated for 2015, but we will have already gone through the approval process so we will be ready to go when the funding arrives,” Dill said.

Specific school construction master plans can be viewed on the district’s website [http://www.sduhsd.net/].

Dill said most of the money in this first draw will be spent before the second draw in 2015, with the exception of the new middle school in Pacific Highlands Ranch and one building at San Dieguito Academy, both of which will spill over into 2016.

For the new middle school, Dill said the district needs to have “100 percent of the funding before we start. We don’t want to suddenly slam on the brakes.”

$52.5 million for new middle school

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