Charter, district finalize contracts for Prop 51 upgrades

Awarded $13.8M through state program

Morgan Hill Unified School District’s Board of Education ratified an agreement with Charter School of Morgan Hill to help pave the way for more than $13 million in state-funded upgrades to the aging northwest campus.

At a Jan. 16 special meeting, the board approved a “three-party Memorandum of Understanding and Facilities Use Agreement for Proposition 51.” The local charter school’s application—through the state’s Charter School Facilities Program—identified projects totaling about $11.6 million and sought funding (50 percent grant and 50 percent loan) for the rehabilitation of the campus at 9520 Monterey Road.

In February 2018, the state Allocation Board awarded about $13.8 million to the MHUSD-authorized charter school, requiring an memorandum of understanding between CSMH, MHUSD and the state, as well as a facilities use agreement that complies with Prop. 51.

MHUSD staff, which recommended the approval of both contracts, negotiated with CSMH for several months to finalize the agreements. The facilities agreement includes four 10-year terms beginning July 1; allows MHUSD to serve as the lead agency for California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) inquiries; and “CSMH will indemnify the district with respect to any claims made under CEQA,” according to terms.

Additionally, “all improvements require district pre-approval and will conform to the district’s specifications and requirements.”

Charter officials have not yet finalized what upgrades will be made to the campus, which they lease from MHUSD.

The lease agreement also outlines the district’s master plan for the CSMH campus that includes “construction of a new administration building with new administrative, student services and media center space, as well as construction of a new two-story classroom building and reconfigured kindergarten classrooms and modernized first- and second-grade classrooms.” Other upgrades identified were parking lot improvements, a new digital marquee, new play equipment, a lunch shelter and new playfields and a running track.

The agreement states that if CSMH discontinues its operations, all Prop. 51 projects become property of MHUSD.

MHUSD finalizes purchase of VTA property

MHUSD has reached an agreement to purchase the property at the intersection of West Main and Hale avenues from the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority for $1,147,620, according to the Jan. 22 agenda.

The property is adjacent to the athletic fields at Britton Middle School, where most Morgan Hill Pony Baseball League games are played.

The district will use monies from the Capital Facilities and Mello Roos funds to buy the property.

District seeks to recover $32k in lost ADA funds

School district officials have filed a “Request for Allowance of Attendance because of Emergency Conditions Form” with the state education department,” according to a staff report.

District schools “experienced a significant decrease in attendance on Nov.16, 2018 due to the Camp Fire event resulting in unhealthy air quality in the Bay Area,” the report states. “While the schools stayed open to provide an option for parents who couldn’t keep their children at home, many parents chose not to send their children to school.”

The district is requesting $32,000 in lost Average Daily Attendance funds based on their actual days of attendance in previous months.

A decrease of 732 students at eight school sites was documented for Nov. 16, 2018, according to district staff.

This is the second request that MHUSD has made for this school term; the first being specific to Britton Middle School after a threat on social media (later deemed not credible by local police) resulted in a high absentee rate. The district requested $16,000 in lost ADA in that instance.

PULLQUOTE: The local charter school’s application—through the state’s Charter School Facilities Program—identified projects totaling about $11.6 million and sought funding (50 percent grant and 50 percent loan) for the rehabilitation of the 9520 Monterey Road campus.

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