More schools to be needed in Lincoln
This is part two of a two-part series looking at the history behind the school board’s and city disagreement over building of future schools. Part one on the Jan. 24 front page (“School district and city of
The district filed the lawsuit to make the city detail in environmental documents how and when schools will be planned to house future students from the Village 1 housing development as well as how current students could be impacted by the development.
“We can’t make a plan hoping we will get funding down the line from mysterious sources,” said Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman. “We feel as the city does that new development has to pay its way.”
Councilman Spencer Short, who was mayor during 2012, agrees that new development must not impact current residents.
“But we cannot violate state law, which dictates how much school districts can charge developers,” Short said.
The school district is allowed to collect Level II (developer) fees in the amount of $4.60 per square foot of conditioned living space for any building outside of the district’s two community facility districts, according to
School district officials say money collected from developer fees provides 42 percent of the cost to build a school and state money represents 36 to 39 percent if the district can secure state funding.
Today, the district has 6,582 students at 11 schools, including seven elementary schools, two middle schools, a high school and a continuation high school.
To make room for the next generation of
The district’s cost was estimated at $808 million in 2010 to build new schools from the city’s original General Plan and 2008 General Plan and modernize existing school sites, according to the 2010 Facilities Master Plan for Western Placer Unified School District.
With cost escalation, the school district estimates the figure to build could climb to $1.5 billion. Steer said the district adjusts its figures for inflation. The district expects the cost for materials and labor to increase 10 to 11 percent in the next three years, according to Steer.
Steer said the district is anticipating the need to house students from 3,400 more dwelling units that have been more recently constructed or are included in the “old General Plan area.” Using a planning student generation rate of .60, those units would generate 2,040 more students. Of those, the district estimates 1,000 elementary school students, 469 middle school students and 571 high school students.
“Truthfully, we could use another elementary school right now,” Steer said. “In addition to the need for that school, we also will need to expand other elementary school sites that have room for additional portables to accommodate all the students we anticipate from the infill areas.”
Lincoln Crossing Elementary South is the next elementary school to be built when state funds become available.
Planning for Lincoln Crossing Elementary School South and
“We have plans to expand our two current middle school sites to accommodate anticipated middle school enrollment for quite a few more years,” Steer said. “We don’t project needing an additional middle school site until some of the Villages start producing a significant sixth- through eighth-grade population. Site placement will depend on which order the Villages (housing developments) develop.”
Modernization projects for Glen Edwards Middle School identified in the 2010 Facilities Master Plan include a new gym/multipurpose room, band/choir building and science/engineering building; library expansion, new entrance, improved parking and drop off area, upgraded bathrooms, improved kitchen facilities, administrative office space improvements, asbestos abatement and improved lighting. The cost estimated in the plan for the work is $21.8 million.
Projects identified for
The city of Lincoln’s 2008 General Plan includes plans for seven housing developments and special use districts known as the Villages, which are in the city’s sphere of influence and the school district’s boundaries. The boundaries are basically
To educate students from the future Villages, the district will need to build nine elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools at a cost of approximately $615 million, according to Superintendent Leaman.
Village 1’s environmental documents were approved by
The Village 1 Specific Plan area is located east of the Auburn Ravine and includes land on both the north and south side of State Highway 193. The plan area includes 1,832 acres and extends in its southeast corner out to
The first phase of Village 1, known as Phase 1 or
There is no school site planned for Phase 1, which is projected to have 1,135 dwelling units resulting in 333 elementary students, 157 middle school students and 191 high school students.
“Students from Phase 1 of Village 1 would have to go to a current elementary site,” Steer said.
One 12.1-acre elementary school site has been identified for Village 1, which is projected to have 5,639 dwelling units resulting in 3,383 new students. Of those 3,383 students, 1,658 represent elementary, 778 middle school and 947 high school.
Given the numbers, another elementary school may be needed for Village 1 since 800 students is the maximum number for enrollment at a new elementary school, according to Steer.
Steer said the district will need 24 teachers to teach students from Village 1 at the district’s current sites.
Portables are an option the district is considering. Carlin C. Coppin Elementary School,
“We can drop one or two portables on a site and the state is OK with that but any more and the current infrastructure would be impacted,” Steer said.
Middle school and high school students would attend
The district predicts
“The ability to construct
Where will the funds come from to modernize and build?
Voters were asked to approve a $163 million bond to build
“Without the local funding that a bond measure would have provided the students of Western Placer Unified, we don’t have any way of financing the expansion or modernization of
Steer said it is the district’s hope that a statewide bond will not only be on the ballot in 2014 but pass.
“With that, it provides us an opportunity to apply for what is called financial hardship,” Steer said. “This status would put us in the position to have the state pay for needed construction at our school sites and possibly new sites as well.”
Steer said the difference is the state would only pay for what it deems to be “minimum essential facilities” and that could mean portable or modular buildings. This would not include funding for items such as multipurpose rooms, kitchens and school administration space.
“If no local funding is available, no state funding is available or we do not qualify for financial hardship funding, then we will have to begin discussing options to maximize classrooms and available space we do have,” Steer said.
Steer said options could include year-round schooling, multi-track calendars and other measures.