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The Olson plan for BUSD

 

Last updated 10/18/2018 at 10:06am



Recently I talked with a BHS student about the proposed EE bond. I asked her, “How can the district afford to operate and maintain another large campus given its spending deficits and the downward trend in enrollment?” She couldn’t answer the question. so she politely pivoted and replied, “Well, what other choice do we have?”

Actually, there are several good answers to her question but the best longterm solution comes from BUSD Trustee Richard Olson, and it makes total sense. First, reject the EE bond, then sell the Gird property. It does not have to be used as a school site.

Second, move the Sullivan sixth-graders to a Bonsall elementary school that has excess classroom space and is a better “fit” for that age student. That leaves plenty of room for both a two-year middle school and a high school.

Then when necessary, construct another two-story building for more HS classrooms at a cost of around 8 million. Land for playing fields can be purchased from Ocean Breeze for no money, just non-interest bearing future builder’s credits, which may never be cashed.

When overall enrollment increases and district financials permit, a 17-18 acre parcel could be purchased using Gird Road proceeds and a middle school would be constructed, leaving Sullivan as a stand-alone high school.

The community would, I believe, support such a prudent long-term plan, with the proceeds from Gird paving the way and a small bond used to make up the difference.

It would also make sense to build a small emergency road north of Sullivan that would intersect Dulin Road. That would give three separate routes for possible evacuations. (There has only been one evacuation in the past 12 years while Gird has had four.)

This is a financially sensible plan that voters should seriously consider. Remember that EE is only the first of several planned bonds that could cost over 200 million (with interest) if EE opens that door. That’s too much tax and debt for our small district to bear. Please vote NO on EE. (This letter approved by BUSD Trustee Richard Olson.)

Pete Kunasz

 

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