#BuildD60 Updates

#BuildD60 Status Update: Feb. 3, 2020

posted Feb 3, 2020, 2:02 PM by Anthony Sandstrom

The most important part of Pueblo School District 60’s Bond Improvement Program – the final sale of 20-year bonds to investors – was successfully closed Jan. 29.

What that means is that $207.61 million will now be available to Pueblo School District 60 as it begins the first phase of the $218 million Bond Improvement Program approved by Pueblo voters in Nov. 2019. 


The remaining $10.64 million will be set aside as matching funds for a Colorado Building Excellent Schools Today (“BEST”) grant application.


Assisted by Stifel, Nicolaus Public Finance of Denver and underwritten by RBC Capital Markets of Denver, bonds were sold to insurance companies, money managers, trust departments, municipal bond mutual funds and several individuals. 


With the bond funds, District 60’s Bond Improvement Program will allow for construction and improvement projects (with estimated costs) at the following schools: 


  • New build of Centennial and East high schools ($75.7 million each)

  • Central High School ($25.4 million)

  • South High School ($10.62 million)

  • Pueblo Academy of Arts ($12.99 million)

  • Heaton Middle School ($4.46 million)

  • Belmont Elementary ($6.03 million)

  • Beulah Heights Elementary ($2.35 million)

  • Franklin School of Innovation ($6.57 million)

  • Highland Park Elementary ($2.56 million)

  • Minnequa Elementary ($1.3 million)

  • South Park Elementary ($4.21 million)

  • Sunset Park Elementary ($4.76 million)

  • Demolition of Heroes Academy ($2.4 million)

  • Improvements for D60 charter schools ($2 million)


Big savings for taxpayers


In an attempt to stretch to taxpayers’ dollars even further, District 60 is holding back the remaining $10.64 million worth of bonds to apply for a BEST grant from the State of Colorado. If the grant application is successful, those remaining bonds would be sold and used as matching funds for the BEST grant, resulting in $28 million that would not need to be re-paid by taxpayers.


That $28 million would then be used to build two new elementary schools that are proposed to be renovated under the current bond plan. 


In addition, the very positive investor response to the bond offering has resulted in a better interest rate, which saves taxpayers even more money in the long run. 


Similar to a home mortgage, District 60 will repay the bonds over the next 20 years at an all in true interest cost of 2.41%, which includes the cost of issuance for the bond sale. In the 2019 bond measure, voters approved an annual bond payment of $19.5 million. Because of the bulk of bonds sold, the annual bond payment paid by District 60 will only be $17.5 million, a total savings of $33.6 million to taxpayers throughout the bond’s 20-year lifetime. 


“Our goal is to be good stewards of the bond funds approved by Pueblo voters in November,” District 60 Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso said, “and our partners at Stifel and RBC Capital have further allowed us to reach that goal. We are looking to stretch the bond funds as far as we can, so Pueblo could have more value for their investment in our schools.”


More #BuildD60 January updates


In addition to the bond sale, several other preliminary milestones were met as the District 60 Bond Improvement Program gets underway:


Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC) meets: Approved by the Board of Education in December to serve two-year terms on the CBAC were Aaron Suazo, Gary Trujillo, Randy Lind, Michael Donnell, Todd Mihelich, Kenneth Lane, Brittany Campbell, Matthew Trujillo and Deborah Stephens. 


At its first meeting in January, Lane was voted chair of the committee, and Matthew Trujillo was voted vice-chair. The committee will have its second regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and give comment.


Documents from past and future CBAC meetings can be found at http://www.pueblocityschools.us/2019-bond-program/citizens-bond-advisory-committee-cbac


HGF Architects, Inc. & MOA selected to design Centennial and East: Following an interview process with a 10-member selection committee, the Board of Education approved a $5.6 million contract with MOA Architecture and Pueblo-based HGF Architects, Inc. to partner in designing two high schools with a 1,000-student capacity. 


At the Jan. 16 Board of Education meeting, board member Barb Clementi, who also served on the 10-member selection committee, said MOA/HGF was clearly the top choice. Using two separate evaluation metrics that rated both the cost and the quality of the design presentation, MOA/HGF was the top choice in each, Clementi said.


“They were the only group that didn’t come to us with things they already decided about the schools,” Clementi said. “They knew that our community wants to be part of this design and planning, and they are willing to adapt to what the District and the community wants. (MOA/HGF) very quickly rose to the top of this interview system.”


Among the local projects HGF has designed include Heritage Elementary, the CSU-Pueblo Student Recreation Center, and the Pueblo City-County Health Department building. MOA has designed the Colorado College Music Building, Vista Peak High School in Aurora, and much more.


General Contracting firm to be tentatively selected in February: Similar to the process used to select an architect, a general contracting firm will be selected to head construction. A recommendation will be tentatively taken to the Board of Education for discussion at its Feb. 13 work session, with action to be taken on the selection of a contractor by its Feb. 25 regular board meeting. 


Additionally, the Bond Construction Project Manager/Owner Field Representative position, which is a District 60 staff position, is still open until filled. 


Upcoming timeline: Beginning in late spring or early summer, renovation work is slated to begin at various District 60 sites. Building up to that, contractors to do HVAC and electrical work at renovation sites will be selected. Additionally, design is underway for the demolition of the vacant Heroes Academy building, which is targeted for the summer.


By late 2020 or early 2021, the architectural plan for the new Centennial and East high schools will be drawn up.

#BuildD60 Status Update: Dec. 12, 2019

posted Dec 12, 2019, 9:30 AM by Anthony Sandstrom   [ updated Dec 12, 2019, 10:47 AM ]

PREVIOUS UPDATES: Dec. 5, 2019

One of the early steps in the Pueblo School District 60 Bond Program was to appoint members to the Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC). The CBAC is a nine-member committee tasked with monitoring the status of all Bond Program projects, providing feedback when appropriate and producing quarterly and annual reports to the Board of Education. 

Eighteen individuals applied to be part of the CBAC, and at the Dec. 10 Board of Education meeting, the District 60 Superintendent's Office recommended its nine choices. In deciding the members of these committees, professional experience in such facets as building design, construction, capital program management, construction financing, planning, budgeting, auditing and facility operations, were considered. Additionally, every effort was made for each of the District's four quadrants to have representation on the committee.

Those selected include:
  • Aaron Suazo
  • Gary Trujillo
  • Randy Lind
  • Michael Donnell
  • Todd Mihelich
  • Kenneth Lane
  • Brittany Campbell
  • Matthew Trujillo
  • Deborah Stephens
The committee will likely assemble for the first time in January, when a chairman and vice chair will be voted upon. The committee is expected to provide a high level of accountability and communication, on behalf of the board, to the citizens.

Upcoming milestones tentatively occurring in January include:
  • Board of Education will determine the architectural firm for Centennial and East high schools
  • Board of Education will determine the construction firm for Centennial and East
  • The sale of the $218 million bond will be finalized

#BuildD60 Status Update: Dec. 5, 2019

posted Dec 5, 2019, 3:26 PM by Anthony Sandstrom   [ updated Dec 11, 2019, 2:08 PM ]

With the passage of Ballot Question 4A by Pueblo voters on Nov. 5, Pueblo School District 60 and its stakeholders have begun initial plans for the improvements related to the voter-approved bond.

A key part of that bond passage is to provide continual updates to the community about each step in the process.

On Nov. 20, the process of constructing new Centennial and East high schools began with the issuance of the Request for Qualifications for Architectural/Engineering Services. This means that firms could begin making proposals to secure the contract to design the schools. The submission deadline is Dec. 11, 2019 and the final award of the contract is scheduled for the January 2020 Board of Education meeting.

The deadline to receive proposals for construction management and general contracting work on the project is Dec. 19. 

Currently, applications are being reviewed by the Superintendent’s Office for the seven- to nine-member Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC). It is anticipated that on Dec. 10, the District 60 Board of Education will appoint members to that committee. 

The specific responsibilities of the CBAC are to:

  • Actively monitor the status of all Bond Program projects through information provided by district staff and provide feedback as appropriate;
  • Participate in scheduled site visits during construction;
  • Review with district staff any significant revisions to the master schedule and the scope and budget of projects;
  • Prepare and present quarterly and annual reports to the Board of Education that represent a consensus of the CBAC membership. Such reports shall review progress on completion of Bond Program projects, expenditures of bond funds, and implementation of ballot language approved by the voters.
  • These responsibilities shall continue through completion of all 2019 Bond Program projects, culminating with a final summary report to the Board of Education.

Additionally, D60 is in the process of hiring a Bond Construction Project Manager/Owner Field Representative. This individual will serve as the on-site supervisor, and report directly to Robert Lawson, District 60 Executive Director of Facilities and Construction Management. The Project Manager will not have any independent decision-making authority. All decision-making authority will be managed by Lawson, and will be made public to the CBAC and the Board of Education through transparent periodic reports.

The search for a Bond Construction Project Manager/Owner Field Representative is currently ongoing, and interested individuals can still apply.


First steps of the process

At the Nov. 5 Pueblo District 60 Board of Education meeting, District 60 Financial Officer David Horner updated board members on the preliminary stages of the projects outlined in the Bond Program.

Horner outlined the following upcoming dates as the bond program gets underway. As more details are known, future updates will include more information.

Dec. 10, 2019 (tentative): All applications received for the Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC) will be reviewed by the Superintendent’s Office. Recommendations will be sent to the District 60 Board of Education, with committee members appointed at the Dec. 10 Board of Education meeting.

Dec. 11, 2019 (tentative): Submission deadline for Architectural/Engineering Services contract.

Jan. 7, 2020 (tentative): First Meeting of Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee will take place. A Chair and Vice Chair will be elected, and the meeting calendar will be developed. 

Mid-January (tentative): The sale of the $218 million is expected to be finalized. District is in the process of hiring an Architect and General Contractors for the two new high schools. Design of the new school will start as soon as the Architect and Contractor are hired.

Spring/Summer 2020 (tentative): Renovation work will begin at schools identified in the Bond question. Renovation work on electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems will get underway, continuing around students at the various schools. Work will be done over the next several years. 

During 2020: Design and blueprints will be drawn up for construction of East and Centennial High Schools. The schools will have nearly identical floor plans. 

Spring 2021-July 2023 (Tentative): Construction of East and Centennial begins, continuing until 2023. 

August 2023 (tentative): East and Centennial’s new buildings open for students.

District 60 seeking Bond Construction Project Manager

posted Nov 20, 2019, 3:54 PM by Anthony Sandstrom   [ updated Nov 20, 2019, 3:58 PM ]

Pueblo School District 60 is now accepting applications for the Bond Construction Project Manager/Owner Field Representative, to serve as project manager for the $218 million Bond Program passed by Pueblo voters. 

The purpose of the Bond Construction Project Manager is to perform work in planning and managing capital design and construction, including major renovation projects, from conceptual initiation through construction closeout and occupancy.  Responsible for evaluating and overseeing construction projects including new buildings, additions, remodels, upgrades, and repairs to meet District requirements.  This position will manage overall schedules, coordinate between stakeholders, facilitate design submittal reviews, coordinate moving, procurements, interior design, negotiating and evaluating change orders, and meeting overall project scope and requirements within designated budgets. Responsible for managing project closeout, remediation processes, providing regular written project status reports, and assisting the Executive Director in long-term facilities planning and assessments for the District. This position is funded through a capital improvements bond and is term-limited.

For more information about this position or to apply, visit: http://bit.ly/D60BondMgr.

Full text of 2019 Ballot Question 4A

posted Nov 20, 2019, 9:23 AM by Renee Hahn   [ updated Nov 20, 2019, 9:48 AM ]

At a special meeting held on July 30, 2019, the Board of Education unanimously decided to ask Pueblo School District 60 voters if they will approve a $218.25 million bond issue for schools. The measure appeared on the Nov. 5, 2019 ballot and was passed by a majority of Pueblo voters.

Since September 2015, the Board of Education had been engaged in a Facilities Master Plan process, assessing the condition of district facilities, listening to the school community, and studying the recommendations of architects, construction professionals, and community stakeholders. After an extensive public engagement process, numerous community meetings, and several surveys of the needs and desires of district taxpayers and constituents, the Board sought the issuance of general obligation bonds to replace, repair and update school facilities. 

The bond question that appeared on the ballot was as follows: 

SHALL PUEBLO SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 60 DEBT BE INCREASED $218.25 MILLION, WITH A REPAYMENT COST OF UP TO $359.5 MILLION, AND SHALL DISTRICT TAXES BE INCREASED BY UP TO $19.5 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF REPAIRING, IMPROVING, CONSTRUCTING, EQUIPPING AND OTHERWISE UPDATING SCHOOL FACILITIES WITHIN THE DISTRICT AS MONITORED BY A CITIZENS’ BOND ADVISORY COMMITTEE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO:

ADDRESSING CRITICAL NEEDS AT FOUR DISTRICT HIGH SCHOOLS BY MAKING PRIORITY REPAIRS, UPGRADES AND SECURITY ENHANCEMENTS TO CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL AND SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL, AND CONSTRUCTING AND EQUIPPING TWO NEW HIGH SCHOOLS FOR CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL AND EAST HIGH SCHOOL WITH EXPANDED CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM SPACE, MODERN CLASSROOMS, AND EXPANDED ACCESS TO NEW TECHNOLOGY AND COMPUTERS; AND
ADDRESSING CRITICAL HEALTH, SAFETY AND SECURITY CONCERNS IN OTHER DISTRICT BUILDINGS, AND PROVIDING UPDATED SAFETY AND SECURITY SYSTEMS AND OTHER PRIORITY REPAIRS AND UPGRADES; 
BY THE ISSUANCE AND PAYMENT OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS WHICH SHALL BEAR INTEREST, MATURE, BE SUBJECT TO REDEMPTION, WITH OR WITHOUT PREMIUM, AND BE ISSUED AT SUCH TIME, AT SUCH PRICE (AT, ABOVE OR BELOW PAR) AND IN SUCH MANNER AND CONTAINING SUCH TERMS, NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THIS BALLOT ISSUE, AS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MAY DETERMINE; SHALL AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAXES BE LEVIED WITHOUT LIMIT AS TO THE MILL RATE NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE COST PARAMETERS SET FORTH ABOVE AND IN AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT IN EACH YEAR TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF, PREMIUM IF ANY, AND INTEREST ON SUCH DEBT AND TO FUND ANY RESERVES FOR THE PAYMENT THEREOF; AND SHALL ANY EARNINGS FROM THE INVESTMENT OF THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH TAXES AND SUCH BONDS (REGARDLESS OF AMOUNT) CONSTITUTE A VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE; AND IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH BONDS SHALL THE DISTRICT’S DEBT LIMIT BE ESTABLISHED AT 6% OF THE ACTUAL VALUE OF THE DISTRICT’S TAXABLE PROPERTY AS PERMITTED BY LAW?

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