Why is LPOSD so secretive about the recently approved $55 million facilities levy, the highest-ever in this district, fast-tracked for a vote on August 30?
Without an inkling by the public, consultants were quietly hired in summer of 2015 to develop a master facilities plan. This was not revealed until an October school board meeting.
Then a 13-member Facilities Planning Committee handpicked by Superintendent Woodward and described as a “broad-based group of community members” turned out to be mostly current and former LPOSD-associated individuals. No participation by the general public was solicited. The committee’s proposal to the school board, based on the consultants’ information, was accepted by the school board. Two school board members were actually part of the committee.
For unexplained reasons, the school board also decided that one architectural firm was not enough, so two were hired. The interviews were closed to the public.
In May, the school board unanimously approved the $55 million levy. If voters approve it, massive construction projects consisting of three new buildings, plus additions and remodels, creation of new athletic fields, and a plethora of projects in other buildings will begin almost immediately, scheduled to be completed in two years. No reason for the urgency was given.
Within a month after approving the levy, the two school board members who had been on the Facilities Planning Committee resigned.
As a citizen, unless you were a regular attendee of school board meetings, you would have been unaware of most of this until June 2016.