Letter to the Piedmont Community, September 2006

Dear Piedmont Community:

Since the passage of Measure E, a $56 million general obligation bond to address seismic safety in the Piedmont Unified School District, the Board of Education and Superintendent have been hard at work developing a game plan that we envision will improve the safety of our aging school facilities and enhance their value as a community asset.  We are writing to provide you with a progress report on what we have accomplished to-date, and invite you to learn more at an information meeting on October 12, 2006.

Project Financing:  We are pleased to report that the first issuance of the general obligation bond has been made.A competitive sale of $15 million in zero coupon and current interest bonds occurred on July 27, 2006.The bonds received a high Aa3 rating from Moody’s Rating Service.

Building the Team:  The Board has been working with Superintendent Constance Hubbard and Assistant Superintendent Michael Brady to define the staffing needs for the PUSD Bond Project.The organizational chart is attached.Key milestones achieved include:

  • Hiring of a Program Management Firm to oversee program planning and implementation.Representatives from the school district, Board, and community (with requisite technical experience) participated in the screening and interview process.The Board recently approved a contract with Capital Program Management, Inc.(CPM), a firm specializing in program management services for smaller school districts.
  • Formation of a Steering Committee to oversee efficient management of all projects and serve as a communications hub.The Program Manager will serve as Chair.
  • Reconstituting a Technical Advisory Committee (previously the SRRP Advisory Committee) to support the Board and administration.Their support has been beneficial in the time period prior to the hiring of the program management firm.
  • Formation of the Citizens Oversight Committee to ensure that funds are appropriately and prudently spent.Committee meetings are already underway.The Committee already has met with CPM, Inc.

School Updates:  The first order of business this spring was to determine how to mitigate risk in the most vulnerable buildings as we developed long-term plans at each school site.

  1. At Havens, we accomplished the following on-time and on-budget:

§  In time for the start of the 2006/07 school year, relocated vulnerable classrooms in the main part of the school into portables located on the school’s playground.

§  With reduced space on the playground, the District asked the City to use nearby tennis and basketball courts for recess and some P.E.classes during certain times of the school day.The Recreation Commission recommended that the request be granted.The City Council approved the request at its meeting on September 5, 2006.

§  Installed and furnished 16 portables, with the requisite power and water supplies, and fire and alarm systems, working closely with the City, PG & E, the Division of the State Architect, and with the cooperation of local neighbors.

  1. At Piedmont High School, we decided to:

§  Continue to limit use of the Student Center for food service operations;

§  Continue to use the Alan Harvey Theatre, #30’s Classrooms and Library building, and develop an appropriate interim use plan for each space after the next level of quantitative and retrofit design work is completed for each building.

Engineering, Retrofit Design, & Peer Review: We are in the process of identifying a pool of engineering and design candidates who will be invited to submit proposals for the next phase of program planning – including quantitative engineering work, and design schematics and cost estimates for the retrofit work for targeted school buildings.The Board has delegated the responsibility of managing this process to the Steering Committee.In addition, we will identify professionals who will conduct peer reviews of the project design work.

Public Engagement:  Citizens, parents, and staff will have opportunities to provide input and insights at key stages during the planning process.We invite you to attend the first information meeting on:

Thursday, October 12, 2006, from 7-9:00 p.m., Piedmont Community Hall

Meet the newly hired Program Manager; hear what has been accomplished to date; learn about the next phase of program planning; and have an opportunity to ask questions of school officials.


Website and E-News Sign-up:  For those interested in receiving news and updates via e-mail, you can sign-up now by going to:  http://www.piedmont.k12.ca.us  We are in the process of developing a website, where visitors will be able to obtain current information on the planning and implementation process, organizational structure, and public engagement opportunities.  Stay tuned for an announcement of when the website “goes live.”

Last spring we released a high level roadmap of the planning and construction work that we envisioned for the successful implementation of the bond project (Attachment I).We have accomplished program phases A and B, and are pleased to report that as we enter phase C, we will have a strong pool of candidates from which to select to do the design and engineering work at each school site.Fourteen (14) firms have submitted applications to the District and want to participate in this next program phase.

As Piedmont prepares to celebrate its centennial birthday, we are excited to embark upon a Piedmont school facilities project that will extend and revitalize the life and strength of our school campuses for many years to come.Thank you for taking an active part in this major community project.We appreciate your patience as we take the time necessary to do the job right.


Constance Hubbard, Superintendent
Ward Lindenmayer, President
June Monach, Vice President
Cathie Geddeis, Member
Ray Gadbois, Member
Roy Tolles, Member



Attachment I.

Piedmont Unified School District

Bond Project Roadmap




This year we plan to accomplish the majority of A through D below by March 2007.  Phases E through G will be contingent on the first elements of our plan.


  • Spring – Winter
  • Complete qualitative engineering study
  • Evaluate and prioritize risks
  • Consider options to mitigate risk in short-term
  • Engage with parents, staff and community
  • Implement short-term mitigation plans and projects



  • Summer – Fall
  • Determine program management structure
  • Develop high level implementation plan
  • Determine public engagement process
  • Establish and organize committees
  • Recruit and hire program manager
  • Engage with parents, staff and community
  • Update program plans and process



  • Fall – Early Spring
  • Obtain cost estimates for retrofit projects
  • Estimate cost to rebuild, where appropriate
  • Evaluate impact of state funding
  • Perform cost/benefit analysis
  • Engage parents, staff and community
  • Determine scope of retrofit/rebuild projects



  • Fall – Early Spring
  • Engage with parents, staff and community
  • Discuss long term vision for Piedmont schools
  • Develop strategic plan and direction
  • Determine potential impact on facility needs
  • Coordinate closely with City planning process



  • Hire engineering & architectural firms
  • Complete quantitative engineering studies
  • Develop preliminary design documents
  • Conduct peer review of design documents
  • Engage parents, staff and community


F.DESIGN OF REBUILD PROJECTS                      

  • Hire engineering and architectural firms
  • Develop preliminary design documents
  • Conduct peer review of design documents
  • Engage parents, staff and community
  • Determine final scope and design direction



  • Complete final design documents
  • Conduct peer review of final design documents
  • Obtain DSA approval of final design documents
  • Hire construction manager
  • Develop timeline and plans for construction
  • Engage parents, staff and community
  • Conduct bid process for construction projects
  • Hire construction firms and begin projects
  • Monitor construction costs and timeline
This update was posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2006 at 8:03 pm.