Dec 17 2013

New $13 to 15 Million Bond Measure: Input Sought on High School Auditorium Renovation Funding

 – School Board Decisions on Bond Authorization – 

The School Board requests comments from the community regarding the June 2014 ballot measure for bonds to fund the renovation of the High School Auditorium, Alan Harvey Theatre, 800 Magnolia Avenue.  The School Board meetings will be held in the City Council Chambers starting at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, January 8 and 22.

Authorization Amount – $13 – $14 – $15 million – 

The School Board will consider:

–  What time period to choose from 13 to 25 years for the repayment of the bonds.

–  The ratio of total repayment (principal and interest) to initial bond proceeds (principal) received.

–  What tax rate per $100,000 of assessed property value should be imposed on Piedmont properties. 

In June 2014, the Board of Education will present a bond measure to Piedmont voters to raise funds to renovate Alan Harvey Theatre to bring it up to current accessibility codes and standards. The Board held the first of three meetings to discuss bond financing options on December 11, 2013.  Written presentation of options.

While inviting community input on bond financing for Alan Harvey Theatre, the Board determined it may be helpful for the public to have a financial summary of the District’s recently-completed seismic safety bond program. The seismic program to strengthen or replace school facilities to meet or exceed current standards for life safety involved the sale of $69.1 million in local bonds.

These bonds include a mix of current interest bonds, Qualified School Construction Bonds, and Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABs).  The financial summary includes information that was previously published in Citizen Oversight Committee reports, Board reports, reports from KNN Public Finance, and the Seismic Safety Bond Program Summary. The information has been compiled in this financial summary for the public’s convenience. To view the summary, go to:  [Information includes current bond obligations for the Piedmont Unified School District]


As the primary venue for assemblies and performing arts at Piedmont and Millennium High schools, as well as providing space for the middle and elementary schools, broader educational, community and civic needs, the Alan Harvey Theatre is one of the District’s most heavily used facilities. Decades of steady use have taken their toll, and the facility is now in need of significant repairs and upgrades.

Earlier this year, the district hired Quatrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) to examine the building’s integrity, prepare preliminary drawings and estimate the costs to repair the building. Working from initial drawings by Havens School designer Mark Becker, QKA’s resulting design was developed, reviewed and enthusiastically endorsed by a multi-stakeholder committee.

Further Information:

Click here to see renderings of the proposed design and to access the programming manual developed by Quattrocchi Kwok Architects

To see a schematic of the plans for the first floor of the theater, click here.

To see a schematic of the plans for the basement of the theater, click here.

Financial Summary of Current School Seismic Safety Bond Obligations 

Information from Constance Hubbard, Superintendent of Schools – 

The Alan Harvey Theater was built nearly forty years ago and is one of Piedmont’s most heavily used facilities.  It serves as a classroom for five of the seven periods of the school day in addition to hosting after-school and evening performances. Even the Theatre’s lobby is used on a regular basis for small-group classes and rehearsals.

The Theater is overdue for improvements to bring it up to current accessibility codes and standards, including access to the stage, assistive listening capabilities, an accessible seating. The Board of Education plans to present a ballot measure to Piedmont voters in June 2014, to authorize the sale of bonds to pay for these improvements.

The financing options include: bonds that require payment of interest and principal throughout the term of the bond; bonds that defer interest and principal payments until bonds issued by the District in the 1990s are paid off; and a hybrid option.

Advantages, disadvantages and trade-offs of each.

In general, bonds that require payment of interest and principal throughout the term of the bond typically have lower interest rates and cost less overall, although the cost savings is diminished if there is a long repayment period. In contrast, bonds that defer repayment typically have higher interest rates and cost more overall, although they allow tax increases to be phased in as other bonds are retired, effectively keeping taxes relatively flat. For this reason, these bonds are often preferred by taxpayers on a fixed income. [ Written presentation of tax options.]

We need your input as soon as possible. Your feedback will be considered by the Board in their deliberations on a plan for Bond issuance, in order to enable the projected tax implications to be included in the ballot information packet. The structure of the bonds is not finalized until they are issued, which will be August 2014 upon approval of the voters in June 2014.

Watch the board meetings live on KCOM, Channel 27, or from the City website.  The meetings will be archived for future retrieval on the City website. For agendas and meeting materials, click here.

For those who cannot attend the upcoming Board meetings, or who have questions or comments about the Alan Harvey Theatre financing options, please send questions or comments to Andrea Swenson, School Board Vice President at 760 Magnolia Avenue Piedmont, CA 94611

Members of the School Board are:

Richard (Rick) Raushenbush – President –

Andrea Swenson –Vice President –

Ray Gadbois –

Sarah Pearson –

Roy Tolles (E. Leroy) –

Editors’ Note:  Information concerning the Bond Measure for the Alan Harvey Theatre renovation was provided in public documents by the Piedmont Unified School District.

The Piedmont Civic Association does not support or oppose candidates for public office or ballot measures. 

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