Mark Kelley, attorney with Dannis Woliver Kelley law firm gave a presentation Thursday, Feb. 15, to the school board about changes in policy that make lease-leaseback contracting an attractive opportunity for school building projects.
“While it was not a particularly appealing option a few years ago, it’s better now. Important changes in the law have turned it back into a desirable delivery method,” said Kelley.
The change came on Sept. 23, 2016 when Governor Brown signed AB2316 into law stating that there still must be a competition for the award of the contract. The old law stated that lease-leaseback contractors could be chosen “without advertising for bids.”
This amendment followed a lawsuit, which claimed Fresno Unified School District unfairly favored a contractor at the expense of taxpayers.
According to Kelley the updated lease-leaseback option still allows for better cost and scheduling control and improved workflow.
“Districts typically have a less contentious relationship with the builder than with a low bid contractor,” said Kelley.
“It’s about knowing the costs ahead of time and locking them in with someone they trust,” he said, “This is what most of our clients are looking at; they want predictability.
“I’m seeing a lot of districts worried about rolling the dice on bid day.”
While no decisions have been made on using this method, the school district has the ability to consider it for future Measure R and D projects.
Trustee Mike Olivas favored the method, saying it was a good opportunity, while Board President Robert Warren expressed concern that it was still a high-risk move to get around low-cost building.
~ Winters High School received a generous donation of a Steinway grand piano from Davis resident Dave Keller. He sought to donate the piano for educational purposes in memory of his mother, who taught piano in Davis for many years. She also taught fourth grade at Pioneer Elementary School in Davis.
~ The school board conducted a public hearing on the Mitigated Negative Declaration for Winters High School Measure R and D facility improvements, stating that environmental impacts of the project can be mitigated to satisfy the California Environmental Quality Act.
The document was made available for public review from Jan. 23-Feb. 22. The declaration includes plans for replanting trees, storm drainage systems and outlines for traffic control during construction to face the cultural, aesthetic and environmental impacts of the project.
~ The school board will place an item on a future agenda to address plans for the old Wolfskill High School site located at the intersection of Boyce Road and Bowman Road.
According to Superintendent Todd Cutler, he and facilities director Roy Owens have been working diligently to deal with the abandoned structure and unused property.