"Bob, I'll take what's behind Plan B."

I had to miss last night’s board meeting but since the audio recording of the meeting was available on the district’s website this morning http://www.beaumont.ca.schoolloop.com/minutes  , I’ve been able to listen to the first half. The board began by honoring this year’s “Teachers of the Year”. Soon, you should be able to find the names of the honorees with their pictures on the district’s website. I want to congratulate Allison Calderwood from my children’s school, Brookside Elementary.  Mrs. Calderwood was my daughter’s first grade teacher and is well deserving of the honor.

The board also proclaimed today, May 11th, the “Day of the Teacher” and designated a “Week of the Classified Employee”.  Board trustee Mrs. Poulter suggested the administration consider, in the future, proclaiming a week or day for the district’s volunteers. Instead of saying that’s a good idea, Superintendent Dr. Kayrell told her each of the sites honor their own volunteers and each principal will pick a volunteer for recognition at a future board meeting.  It continues to amaze me how little this administration wants to recognize their volunteers. These are the volunteers that have been stepping up to help out while the district cuts the programs and services to their kids, volunteers who will be asked to bail the district out again and again in the next few years.

Last night the board was presented three options to consider for the Athletic Complex GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price). This is supposed to be the final price for the project. You can find last night’s agenda with the three plans by going to this web page: http://www.beaumont.ca.schoolloop.com/agendas

The board approved “Plan B”, $14,764,469.31. While one board member expressed a concern that this option was a $700,000 increase over the latest estimate, a representative from Bogh Engineering responded, “Yes, but it’s a $5,000,000 savings over “Plan A”.  Everyone seemed to forget the GMP, “Plan B”, is $2.7 million over the original estimate for the sports complex. Who says these board meetings aren’t entertaining?

I remember two years ago, as the board wrestled with the first round of budget cuts, the board was presented with approving  a “Plan A” and a “Plan B”. The “Plan A” at that time was also considerably higher than the “Plan B” which was eventually approved by the board. I think the administration likes this strategy of presenting drastically different options since it helps the board feel better about difficult decisions and makes it easier for the administration to ask for more money. 

I can’t wait to see their “Plan A and Plan B” for the Taj Mahal, the District’s new office building. The last estimate we heard was $10,000,000. It might go something like this… "Let’s make “Plan A” $15 million and “Plan B” $12 million, that sounds about right." I find it interesting that we haven’t heard one word about the TM in recent months. We were told there would be design review committees to look for cost savings for all the projects but I haven’t heard of any review for the TM. The original design committee for the TM had little, if any, outside representation. I hope this administration has learned a thing or two this year about transparency and open up the TM review process to the public. I’m not going to hold my breath.