aec highlights
AEC Pre-conference:
An A–Z overview of school facilities
Attendees don’t have to wait until AEC begins on Dec. 5 to start learning. In addition to a slate of returning pre-conference offerings, a half-day school facilities forum beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, will offer perspectives on the future of funding California’s school facilities.

Attendees will learn about the current state of school facilities provided by CSBA, industry experts, school board members and education stakeholders. Topics will include important facility plan requirements and an examination of the role of school board members in the success of facilities projects.

“The tools that board members take away from this presentation will help shape their future conversations about facilities,” said CSBA Legislative Advocate Eric Bakke, who will moderate three panels throughout the event. Bakke further explained that information is power in the facilities world. “The thing that can get districts in trouble is what they don’t know,” he said.

The pre-conference program also comes on the heels of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of Assembly Bill 48 this fall, which places a $15 billion school facilities bond on the March 3, 2020 ballot. It calls for $9 billion to go to K-12 schools: $2.8 billion for new construction, $5.2 billion for modernization (with $150 million earmarked for lead in water testing and remediation) and $500 million each for career technical education and charter schools.

To inform and instill confidence in board members in fulfilling their roles in facilities, the panels will share anecdotes and best practices from a wide variety of perspectives, including architects, district facilities managers and other industry experts. Panelists will aim to break a seemingly daunting amount of information into smaller pieces. The first panel will offer an overview of the fundamentals of school facilities, ranging from master plans to bond campaigns and financing. Attendees will be walked through a step-by-step look at what board members should know about their role in facilities and how those efforts align with the district’s vision and goals. From there, attendees will learn how to plan and implement projects that meet Proposition 39 and Public Works Project requirements — in addition to touring the key roles of partners in the process, such as architects and construction managers.

Wrapping up the presentation will be a panel including the superintendent and a school board member from the Sacramento area’s San Juan Unified School District. Attendees will learn how a focus on community relationships and trust helped the district pass a $750 million facilities bond in 2016 with 69 percent approval, and how San Juan USD has used and overseen the funds.