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BUSD approves contracts for environmental compliance, design work


Last updated 2/16/2017 at Noon

The Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) approved contracts for environmental compliance and design work for the planned Bonsall High School.

Separate 3-1 BUSD board votes Jan. 19, with Sylvia Tucker voting in

opposition and Erin English absent, approved a contract with Environmental Science Associates (ESA) for California Environmental Quality Act services and with Baker Nowicki Design Studio for design services.

The district owns a 50-acre site off of Gird Road, and contingent upon the prerequisites including environmental approval and construction funding, a high school will be built on that land.

In January 2015 the BUSD board awarded a contract to Baker Nowicki Design Studio for architectural services for the new high school. In May 2016 the board approved a contract with Kunzman Associates, Inc., for a traffic impact analysis, and a change order expanding the number of possible students from 1,200 to 1,500 was approved in September 2016 and increased the number of intersections to be evaluated from seven to 10. In December the board approved a contract with Hernandez Environmental Services to provide focused biological surveys at the Gird Road property.

Bonsall High School is currently on the Sullivan Middle School campus and opened in August 2014 with ninth-graders only. It has expanded by one grade a year and will have all four high school grades in 2017-18. The district anticipates the high school to open on its new site for the 2019-20 school year and anticipates enrollment at that time to be approximately 500 students.

"We're building for the 500 that we need in the relatively near future," said BUSD superintendent Justin Cunningham.

"We'll design it so that it will be able to hold more buildings there," Cunningham said. "That could be 20, 30 years from now, but we do have to make sure that we're looking out that far."

In November BUSD staff issued a request for proposals to perform the required California Environmental Quality Act services.

"The CEQA is something we're going to have to start preparing for," Cunningham said.

ESA and UltraSystems Environmental submitted proposals which were evaluated by school district staff. Interviews were conducted with company representatives Dec. 2. The ESA bid was slightly lower, although only by $343 if only an environmental Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) is needed and by less than $4,000 if an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required.

The factors which led to the selection of ESA included its San Diego office (UltraSystems Environmental is based in Irvine), a previous relationship with BUSD consultants which involved initial study information, and a good working relationship with the Pala Band of Mission Indians on an unrelated project.

The district will pay ESA no more than $65,000 if only a Mitigated Negative Declaration is required and no more than $98,000 if an Environmental Impact Report is prepared.

"That should be done next fall," said Cunningham.

The Gird Road site has drawn concern from nearby residents concerned about traffic and other impacts, so the CEQA work will also include additional discussion with area homeowners.

"We need to talk a little bit more about what the community would like to see," Cunningham said. "The timing for it is so appropriate."

The final MND or EIR will also require a specific project including the construction footprint.

"If you want to be very clear about what the impacts are for the CEQA you have to have a design," Cunningham said. "Parts of the property have less of a biological concern than others. We do have the water areas on the property."

Baker Nowicki, ESA, Hernandez Environmental, and construction consultant Erickson-Hall will work together on issues which will include identification of areas requiring design avoidance mitigation, maintaining cost control through the entire design process, and communicating the appropriate levels of environmental impact to government agencies.

"We're really looking forward to maintaining a lot of the beauty on that property," said Cunningham.

The agreement with Baker Nowicki is for $181,569.38 and covers the process through the completion of the schematic design.


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