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Approved in '06, $63M Bond Measure Still Funding HS Athletic Facilities

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Copyright 2013 The Press Enterprise, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Press Enterprise
October 26, 2013, Saturday
MAINNEWS; Pg. A12
441 words
TRUSTEES AWARD ATHLETIC FACILITIES CONTRACTS
GAIL WESSON STAFF WRITER GWESSON@PE.COM

Construction of a second phase of athletic facilities at Banning High School will add eight tennis courts, a restroom/concession building and a parking lot by August 2014.

Banning Unified School District trustees awarded $2.2 million in contracts for the work at the Thursday, Oct. 24, board meeting.

The total budget for the project is $2.6 million. Most of the funding comes from Measure R, a $63 million bond measure voters approved in 2006.

Proceeding with construction in November is contingent on receiving assurances from bond measure auditors that the bond measure's citizens' oversight committee has the authority to recommend projects even though it lacks a representative from a senior citizen organization at the moment.

Committee member Kerri Mariner raised that as an issue and said the district could be in "a lot of hot water" if it did not meet requirements of the bond issue.

"We need to go forward. I think the students have waited long enough for these facilities," said Superintendent Robert Guillen.

Bond auditors are in Banning this week, and district officials expect a prompt answer to Mariner's question.

The district opened a $19 million Measure R-funded athletic complex in 2011, in time for the high school graduation ceremony. That included an artificial turf football field, soccer and track and a full-sized pool. A gymnasium opened in 2005.

When the second phase was put out to bid, there were several separate optional bid items so the district could control project costs.

School trustees agreed to include lighting for the small parking lot, which will serve baseball fields and tennis courts, but did not include lighting for the new tennis courts. Conduit pipe will be installed to make it easier to add lighting in the future.

Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co. of Rancho Cucamonga handles construction management for the district. Contractors for the project are Inland Building Construction Companies, Kincaid Industries and Construction Electric.

In addition to the athletic complex, the district has used Measure R bond money to build a two-story classroom building at Banning High, modernize Hoffer and Hemmerling elementary schools and upgrade science classrooms at Nicolet Middle School.

The school district has voter authorization for about $24 million more in bond sales, but like many other school districts, the decline in property values associated with the economic recession has left the Bannig district with insufficient assessed property valuation to back another series of bond sales at this time.

Follow Gail Wesson on Twitter @PE_GailWesson or online at blog.pe.com/author/gwesson

October 26, 2013

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