By Jim Shilander
The Capistrano Unified Board of Trustees received its annual look at the district’s facilities master plan, Wednesday, July 23, with a look at the needs of all of the district’s schools. However, the district faces financial issues, and how much the plan that can actually be accomplished is in doubt.
During their meeting, the trustees unanimously agreed that equity, meaning keeping schools at a similar state, would be their chief concern regarding facilities updates.
The issue of equity was brought up when board member Anna Bryson mentioned that CUSD should not expect to receive any funding from the state next year, and that much of the funding for facilities updates must come from either community facilities districts or facilities bonds.
Board president John Alpay pressed the issue further when he noticed the master plan mentioned the construction of a gymnasium for one of the middle schools. He asked Deputy Superintendent Clark Hampton if any other middle schools had gymnasiums. Hampton said they don’t.
The master plans includes some ambitious elements and t not all of its recommendations are expected to be acted upon, Hampton said.
Even so, the question of equity remained Alpay’s primary concern.
“We should bring all of the schools up to the level of the current top school, as far as facilities are concerned, and then continue to work up from there,” Alpay said.
The other board members unanimously agreed with Alpay’s viewpoint. The board requested that more specifics about which school needs what, be brought before them in the future.
San Clemente Mayor Tim Brown was in attendance as a guest speaker. Brown urged board members to return excess funds to Talega residents from a 2006 refinancing of a CFD, stating that it wasn’t fair to the residents who pay their taxes not to
Although the meeting was only an informational session, the board will eventually have to vote on a master plan for facilities updates. A vote on the Talega CFD funds is likely to come in August.