Measure E Frequently Asked Questions
- General Questions
- Classroom Additions
- Middle School Conversion FAQ [↗]
- Project Stabilization Agreement
- Technology (IT)
Measure E is the $650 million general obligation bond measure placed on the June 3, 2014 ballot for voters in the Fremont Unified School District to consider.
Measure E will upgrade and repair neighborhood schools by:
- updating technology/aging classrooms, math, science/computer labs for 21st Century learning
- upgrading electrical wiring to current safety codes
- fix/replace leaky roofs, aging plumbing/restrooms
- removing asbestos
- repairing, constructing, acquiring equipment, classrooms, sites, facilities
The Measure E general obligation bond was approved with a 61.8% YES vote.
The first step involved conducting an extensive facilities needs assessment process looking at all sites within the district. The second step was to approve a process for the development of a Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP), which the Board of Education approved on February 27, 2013. Throughout the planning process, there were multiple opportunities through town hall meetings and school site reviews for various stakeholders to provide input and help prioritize future projects. More than $1.6 billion in facilities needs were identified through the comprehensive and inclusive process. However, the list was pared down to an amount that taxpayers could support.
Education Code (Section 15278) requires all districts to establish an Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) in order to satisfy the accountability requirements of Proposition 39 (2000). The CBOC acts in an oversight capacity on all bond related proposals and expenditures. The CBOC will be actively involved in advising the Fremont Unified School District Board of Education and the Fremont community on all bond-related matters. The committee is required to report out annually on bond expenditures and program performance. Proposition 39 (2000) also requires annual audits by an independent auditor who evaluates both financial status and program performance of the bond program.
No. Bond funds are separate from the “general fund budget” that pays for teachers, teaching supplies, administrators, aides, custodial services and routine maintenance.
Bond funds, approved by voters, are set aside for physical improvements. While Measure “E” funds can only be used for facilities, it is important to understand how facilities impact teaching and learning. By reducing overcrowding at schools through classroom addition projects, providing technology infrastructure to support 21st century learning and testing requirements. By tackling critical needs, such as the antiquated heating and ventilation systems at some of our schools, our students’ learning environments are greatly improved and increase the performance of both teachers and students.
On July 23, 2014, the Board of Education approved three (3) qualified firms for the District's Construction Management (CM) pool, Blach Construction Company, O'Connor Construction Management, Inc., and Roebbelen Construction Management Services, Inc. The District's Program Management firm, Harris and Associates and the District will match and assign the most appropriate CM firm to each project. CM staff members will be assigned to manage multiple projects, as opposed to a single project contract.
The Design Build method is procurement and delivery method used to minimize risks for the project owner (in this case, FUSD), and to reduce the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project. The Design-Build project delivery method carries the clearest contractual remedies for the client because the Design-Build contractor will be responsible for all of the work on the project, regardless of the nature of the fault. More districts are moving towards the Design–Build method, as it saves time and money for the owner, while providing flexibility and innovation required during construction. This method also allows owners to avoid being placed directly between the architect/ engineer and the contractor, thereby relieving the owner of major legal responsibilities and resulting in a decreased risk of litigation.
Measure "E" is a ten year program with all work expected to be completed by the end of 2025. The bonds will be sold in five series, approximately every two years, with approximately $130 million in funding sold for each series.
Fremont voters continue to support public education, knowing this is an investment in the future. Currently there are assessments on two bonds: the 2002 Measure "B" Bond AND the 2014 Measure "E."
- The 2002 Measure "B" Bond is between $26.17 and $39.96 per $100,000 of assessed valuation (not market value) of the property. For 2014‐15, the assessment is $30 per 100,000 of assessed valuation.
- The 2014 Measure "E" Bond assessment is $59 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of the property. Again, not market value.
The total of the two assessments, Measure "B" and Measure "E", is $89 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of the property.
Example 1: A property with assessed valuation of $360,000:
- Prior to 2014 ‐ $108 ($30 x 3.6), represents Measure B only Effective 2014 ‐ $320 ($89 x 3.6), represents Measure B and E together
- Prior to 2014 ‐ $285 ($30 x 9.5), represents Measure B only
- Effective 2014 ‐ $846 ($89 x 9.5), represents Measure B and E together
Measure “K” was a parcel tax, not a general obligation bond, like Measure “E”. The uses, rules, and requirements are different for each. A “senior waiver” is not allowed for general obligation bonds.
The $200 million refers to the program contingency budget and an important line item in developing the program budget.
The only money available currently is the $140 million from the Series A bond issuance. It is held in an interest‐bearing account with the County of Alameda Office of Education. It will be used for the first group of projects, as outlined in the bond implementation plan. The bonds will be issued in five issuances, Series A through E, approximately two years apart over the next 10 years.
In estimating the budget needed for projects, a rule of thumb of 25‐30% “soft costs” versus construction costs is used. This is necessary because there are other expenses besides the actual construction that need to be included in the project budget. These include design, engineering, inspection, testing, permits, etc.
No, the District will not be using capital appreciation bonds.
The District does not have the personnel to manage the amount and complexity of construction projects the $650 million bond will fund over the next ten years. The District requested proposals from qualified firms to provide program management services for a 5‐year period, and interviewed eight firms. Based on evaluations, interviews, reference checks, and further due diligence, staff recommended awarding the contract to Harris and Associates.
The assessed value (AV) of properties in 2013/14 was $35.8 billion. Yes, bond liability is limited to 2.5% of the AV. The AV stated above includes commercial properties. Commercial properties are not exempt from these taxes.
No, there is no provision for any exemptions for any private corporations. However, organizations that are naturally exempt from paying property tax will not be assessed Measure E tax, such as government entities and religious organizations.
The Long Range Facilities Master Plan (LRFMP) only looked at repair of the existing central plant system. It did not look at replacing this woefully inadequate and antiquated system. The original scope only included in-kind replacement of water lines, ductwork, and air handlers, and was developed prior to the catastrophic failure of existing chillers. The plan did not replace equipment outside the academic building, including the boiler and chillers. This was a bandage approach to temporarily fixing a decrepit system beyond its life cycle.
The new project is a replacement project where all existing equipment will be removed and replaced with individual dedicated single packaged units. These dedicated rooftop mounted “gas packs” are packaged a/c units with gas-fired heat exchangers. The new HVAC system replacement and upgrade will require significant electrical, plumbing, and structural improvements.
The central plant system at American High School is a four-pipe water-to-air system: two pipes, supply and return, for hot water; and two pipes for the cold water. Hot water is supplied from a 16-mbtu boiler and the cold water is supplied from a temporary 225-ton rental chiller. The original 500-ton chiller is in catastrophic failure. The tempered water is mechanically pumped to most of the 181,000 sq. ft. of the main campus. The air delivery system is an assortment of various sizes of air handlers, some ceiling mounted, some above the ceiling, and some installed in crawl spaces above the hallway ceilings. The controls are pneumatic, with the air being supplied by redundant air compressors.
One of the main issues is the complete failure of the water-cooled main chiller. Repairs/replacement of that chiller would not be cost-effective due to the age of the technology and condition of the existing piping. Most of the existing parts are close to 43 years old.
Another issue is the pneumatic control system. Miles of ceiling and crawlspace run poly hose, which are prone to leakage and extremely difficult to locate. Many of the air handlers are in need of repairs/replacement, but no spare parts are available due to the age of the equipment. Another critical issue is that the controls are not capable of zone controlling the campus, meaning the system is either all "on", or all "off", leading to an enormous amount of energy waste. American High has the highest energy bill of any school in the District.
This is a concern that has been studied during the building manufacturer’s evaluation of HVAC systems and designs. The heat pumps, manufactured by School Air, come in a variety of sizes based on the tonnage of air that the pumps would need to push around. The School Air units used for FUSD’s new buildings at Azevada and Mattos Elementary schools, and Irvington High, were selected specifically for the volume of the classrooms, as designed. Though the heat will be distributed at the top of the classroom (which is generally not ideal), the heat pump system is designed that way to prevent air from blowing directly onto students and creating discomfort. The heat pump duct will also facilitate an even distribution of heat across the classroom. Additionally, the building envelope designed by Project Frog has a high insulation value (aided by an airtight and watertight membrane), which will minimize heat loss and keep the warm air circulating within the classroom.
The heat pump system is highly efficient. The heat pumps used in the Project Frog classrooms at Azevada and Mattos are, on average, 25% more efficient than (California Building Code) Title 24 minimum heating and cooling requirements. This efficiency is delivered through the integration of two compressors (typically, heat pumps of this size only have one compressor). The dual compressors work in tandem to ensure continuous heating and cooling (eliminating unnecessary energy loss due to the start-and-stop of a single compressor).The most important energy savings measure provided with the heat pumps is the ability to operate in 100% economizer mode. When the outdoor air is below the supply air temperature set point, the heat pumps will be able to draw in 100% outdoor air and cool the space without starting the compressor. Economizer mode is not required by Title 24 for heat pumps of our capacity, but has been specified for these projects for the energy savings benefit. Finally the heat pumps for Azevada and Mattos have been specified with door sensors that will deactivate the heat pumps if the door to the outside has been left open for longer than a prescribed period of time, preventing additional energy loss.
By moving to the middle school model, FUSD will be addressing several important issues, specifically:
- Align the district’s instructional model for serving students in grades 6-8 with the state wide and national trend
- Align the district’s instructional model with the Common Core State Standards
- Address overcrowding at the elementary schools by moving sixth grade students to middle schools, thereby increasing the available space for elementary students to attend neighborhood schools
- Address the adequacy of core facilities, as the junior high schools are some of the campuses currently most in need of modernization
After a two-year effort working with consultants to develop a new Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) for the district, in January 2014, the FUSD Board of Education approved the establishment of the Middle School model as a planning/implementation concept. The development of the LRFP not only assessed issues and needs associated with the physical condition and layout of schools, it also included an evaluation of the way curricula are delivered within the district. Staff and consultants determined that creating middle schools to replace the junior high model could improve the educational experience for students.
The FUSD Instructional Services Department has formed a Middle School Instructional Task Force comprised of site administrators, teachers, parents, employee group representatives (FUDTA, CSEA and SEIU), and district administrators. The objective of the Task Force is to recommend a research-based instructional model for FUSD’s transition from 7-8th grade junior highs to 6-8th grade middle schools. The Task Force has been given a two-year timeline to evaluate and recommend a transition plan. The goal is to begin using the middle school model at the first campuses starting in the 2018-19 school year. The Task Force‘s motto is, ‘Instruction before Construction.’ To accomplish its mission, the Task Force has visited middle school campuses in nearby districts and met with their staffs. It also meets regularly to discuss research and best practices, and to develop recommendations for the instructional program. Middle School Instructional Task Force Board Report January 2016 (pdf) to the Board of Education.
The first of FUSD 's five junior highs, Walters, is scheduled to open as a middle school in the 2018-19 school year. Horner is scheduled to open in 2019-2020, Centerville and Thornton are scheduled to open in 2020-21, and Hopkins in 2022-23.
The rollout of the middle school conversions is aligned with the issuance of Measure “E” Bonds, which take place approximately every two years.
Bond Series Projects are scheduled so as to address priorities throughout the district in the most cost effective and efficient way. Since the bond sales determine the available cash flow, the projects cannot be accomplished at the same time. The Middle School Conversion Projects are prioritized to address the most immediate need to alleviate attendance area overcrowding. Both Walters and Horner are projected to have high enrollment growth for several years, which is why they are scheduled first. The Hopkins Middle School Conversion Project is scheduled last; it is located in an attendance area where projections show a slight drop in enrollment.
The LRFP calls for a mix of modernization and new construction at each of the five sites, with projects selected based on 1) Health and Safety; 2) Increasing Capacity; and 3) Upgrading Technology Infrastructure. The Scope of Work varies from site to site, based on each school’s own unique needs. The LRFP contains estimated budgets based on the needs identified and recommendations made three years ago. However, today’s reality is that, enrollment is increasing more rapidly than expected. For example, if we built Horner Middle School to the recommendations in the LRFP, when the school opens in 2018-2019, the campus would be short 300 seats for FUSD students.
Design solutions will vary between school sites, depending on the site’s individual needs, unique footprint and land availability. Various options have been evaluated to determine what solution is going to be most cost effective in providing the district value. In developing the LRFP, improving core facilities throughout the district – or providing equity – was an overarching goal.
Horner is located on a corner lot, and its footprint allows more flexibility in providing a new building. Estimates on original schemes showed that it would be more cost effective to build new. This is based on:
- New construction costs vs. maintenance costs to modernizes
- Savings gained by using the existing Horner classrooms for interim housing during construction of the new school instead of paying for temporary portables
- Savings gained by not needing to bus students to other campuses during construction
- Savings gained by converting some existing Horner classrooms to accommodate growth at adjacent Hirsch Elementary School
Updating technology, math, science and computer labs was one of the first items mentioned on the Project List included on Measure E, the ballot proposition approved by voters in June 2014. It was determined that four schools needed immediate, critical updates in order to be ready for the 2015 online assessments required through Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the increased demand’s of today’s way of delivering instruction. Classified as High Priority, Kennedy High School and Ardenwood, Brookvale, and Vallejo Mills Elementary Schools Technology Infrastructure Projects were approved as part of the Series A Implementation Plan and were the first four projects completed during year one of the Measure E program implementation. These four schools needed critical upgrades in order to be ready for the online assessments now required through Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Technology Infrastructure upgrades are anticipated for eight sites in time for the online assessments in Spring 2017:, Blacow, Cabrillo, Chadbourne, Forest Park, Green, Hirsch, , Maloney, and Niles Elementary Schools.
If necessary, we will develop back-up plans for a successful testing experience for the remaining schools, with work anticipated during the 2017 summer and completed in time for the 2017-18 school year.
Many variables go into making the Master Schedule, including priority need, availability of funds (remember: the bonds will be sold in five series, approximately every two years, with approximately $130 million in funding sold for each series.), and other projects planned for a specific site, or new facilities needs that might arise (such as the new classroom addition projects to address enrollment growth). Sometimes we “bundle” similar projects at multiple sites together, and sometimes we “bundle” different types of work together at one site—whichever will be more competitive and cost-effective.
In the case of the remaining Technology (IT) Infrastructure Projects (funded through Measure E), the Measure E Team is doing the projects in connection with the district’s implementation of an upgrade to its Fiber Optic Wide Area Network (WAN) bandwidth. The WAN is the network that connects all schools to the District’s network hub. Current network utilization has been consistently above 99% for the past year and keeps increasing. The WAN upgrade project has multiple funding sources: E-Rate, General Fund, and a portion of Measure E funding. It will be a major step in removing a large part of the network bottlenecks the District is experiencing, and will complement technology projects under Measure E.
The remaining Measure E Technology Infrastructure Upgrades and the District Fiber Optic WAN Bandwidth Upgrade Project are being implemented in three phases. Phase I will include:
- Installing new data cabling backbone and infrastructure for desktop Internet and video
- Standardizing data drops and/or wireless networking/access points to cover entire school campus
As previously mentioned, the eight schools listed above will receive this work during fall 2016, and it is anticipated that this work will wrap up in time for the spring 2017 online assessments. The completion of the remaining schools receiving Phase 1 technology infrastructure upgrades is anticipated to occur during the summer of 2017 in time for the 2017-2018 school year.
Please note: After Phase I, there will be no increase in the speed to the system. Users will see increased speed after the WAN is completed.
Phase II of the Measure E technology upgrades will be the installation of new racks and the active components to the network, similar to a home system’s router and cable modem, the network’s “blinking lights”. Once these are in, the new campus wide network will be installed and the old system will be removed. It is anticipated that there will most likely be a moderate increase in speed.
The maximum speed will not be realized until the District Wide Area Network is installed in 2017.
Phase III will occur during mid to late 2017, when the District will complete their Wide Area Network. Once this is complete, users will see a more pronounced increase in speed.
Measure E, a combination of General Fund money earmarked for this cost, a California Teleconnect Fund (CTF), and E-Rate Discounts. E-Rate is a Federal program that makes telecommunication and information services affordable for schools and libraries. E-Rate provides discounted telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries. The discount is determined based on the percentage of students eligible for Free and Reduced Price Meals. CTF is a program of the California Public Utilities Commission, which provides schools, libraries, hospitals and other non-profits a 50% discount on select communications services.
Under the Measure E Bond - Series B Implementation Plan, approved by the Fremont Unified School District Board of Education on November 18, 2015, three schools will receive new classroom additions in order to accommodate growing enrollment. Brookvale and Patterson Elementary schools will both receive a new 8-classroom building, and American High School will receive a new 18-classroom building.
Currently, the District has 2,040 students overloaded from their own attendance areas to other schools. The American High School attendance area is the most impacted. It is located in northern Fremont and serves students at Ardenwood, Brookvale, Forest Park, Oliveira, Patterson and Warwick Elementary schools, and Thornton Junior High School. After analyzing enrollment trends, staffing projections, and facilities needs due to enrollment growth, staff determined that the immediate needs for the 2016-17 school year are at least 33 classrooms throughout the District. Of those 33 classrooms, American High School needs at least seven classrooms; and the attendance area elementary schools need at least 18.
Brookvale and Patterson have more space for building than Ardenwood or Forest Park (which are adjacent to City of Fremont parks), and where there simply isn’t enough space to build. Oliveira will continue to be an overload school, with the Board of Education approving nine temporary portable classrooms for the 2016-2017 school year. It is important to note that the middle school conversion projects will also help alleviate overcrowding by moving sixth grade to a sixth through eighth grade middle school (the current instructional model is a seventh through eighth grade junior high school). For more information on the Middle School Conversions.
New lunch shelters for outdoor dining were included in the new Classroom Building project at Brookvale and Patterson Elementary Schools. The shelters are now up at both schools and measure 30’ x 40’, with size dictated by the budget, location, and adjacent buildings. The shelters can seat 80 students per seating.
The administration at each school works with staff to develop a master schedule for serving lunch and providing physical education to students.
Increasing the size of the libraries, or building science labs at Brookvale and Patterson Elementary are not part of the scope of work. The approved budget is for the classroom additions building, which will include student and staff bathrooms.
Each school has formed a Site Construction Committee comprised of the principal, teachers, classified staff, and parent. The Committee will work with the architects on recommending what is most aesthetically pleasing for its particular campus, including selection of colors. Additionally, for American High School, a special Design Review Committee was formed to review proposals and make recommendations.
Every school in the District will benefit from modernization, which varies from site to site based on need. All three schools receiving the new classroom buildings through Series B are also receiving, or have received, technology infrastructure upgrades, flooring upgrades (asbestos containing materials removal and repairs, as needed), and exterior lighting, to name a few. It is important to remember, however, that Measure E is a $650 million school facilities bond, but $1.6 billion in need were identified in the Long Range Facilities Plan.
The architects have analyzed each site and discussed traffic issues with the Site Construction Committees, as well as concerns, such as bus loading and unloading, drop off and pick up. Traffic continues to be a concern throughout the city, and not just for the District. While there is no crystal ball, there is hope that when students are able to attend their neighborhood schools, traffic patterns will improve.
Student and staff safety is of the utmost concern. The entire construction area is fenced off, and all entrances to the area are kept secured. Construction crews are not to interact with students, and all are fingerprinted and undergo background checks. First choice for delivery of materials and large equipment is before and after school, when students are not present. Whenever large equipment needs to be on the site when school is in session, bell schedules are taken into consideration. This means that if a large truck needs to pass, it does so while students are in class and is always accompanied by safety persons monitoring foot traffic.
Yes, all classrooms in the district will receive 21st Century Learning Environments as part of Measure E - Series E. Series E projects are currently scheduled to take place 2023-2025. The District is currently in the process to develop standards for 21st century learning furniture.
The intent is to bring back students to their neighborhood schools first. Some families might request keeping their students enrolled in the schools they have been previously attending, and this will be decided upon a case-by-case basis.
The architects try to save trees wherever possible. The proposed layouts are taken to the Site Construction Committee for discussion and feedback before being submitted to the Board of Education for approval.
This is difficult to predict, based on any new changes that may result due to the District’s recent request for proposals for child care joint use agreements. However, the same safety protocols used for student safety will still be in place.
The new classroom buildings at Brookvale Elementary, Patterson Elementary, and American High School are anticipated to be ready for the 2017-2018 school year. Although there were a few delays on other classroom addition projects, such as a rain delay during the construction at Irvington High School, adjustments were made. Irvington High’s new 12-classroom Math and Science Building and Warm Springs Elementary School’s new 12-classroom building both opened their doors to students the first day of this academic year. Additionally, both Azevada and Mattos Elementary School open doors to their new buildings last fall. Videos of these ribbon cuttings.
That is still being determined, and will be decided by the school administration.
Yes. The construction use of the field will be finished prior to the start of the season, with any turf damage repaired or replaced by January 2017.
A Project stabilization agreement (PSA), sometimes referred to as a project labor agreement, is a contract usually entered into between a project owner or developer (including public agencies) and several building trade unions. The contract is designed to govern employer-employee relations of the general contractor and all sub-contractors.
The goals of the District’s PSA are: 1) to encourage local hiring, 2) help to provide a vocational career path for community members, and 3) create a harmonious work environment and reduce the risk of jobsite strikes.
According to the California School Boards Association Construction Management Task Force, all California school construction is covered by state prevailing wage laws. A PSA has no effect on wage rates.
The prevailing wage rate is the mandated minimum wage for a particular type of work paid on public works projects.
Prevailing wages must be paid to all workers employed on a public works project when the public works project is over $1,000.
The costs for implementation were primarily for the FUSD’s negotiating team, which included an attorney and the consultants the District hired to monitor this program. The costs for negotiating the agreement were $30,000 for an attorney, and $5,075 for a PSA administrator. The Board approved a contract in the amount of $125,280, with Solis Group on February 24, 2016, to serve as the PSA administrator of the program. These costs are not paid through Measure E. The PSA implementation and monitoring is paid through the General Fund - Career Technical Education.