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School bond oversight committee to report tonight

After review of campus construction, citizens' committee issues annual report

The citizens' committee overseeing $378 million in Palo Alto school bond construction will present its annual report to the Board of Education tonight, Sept. 18.

The "Strong Schools" bond was approved in June 2008 by more than 77 percent of district voters. As of June 30, $145 million in bond funds had been issued and $101.5 million had been spent.

According to ballot language, the purpose of the bond was to "provide safe and modern schools, accommodate enrollment growth, upgrade aging classrooms, libraries, computer and science labs, repair or replace roofs, plumbing, heating, ventilation and electrical systems, improve fire alarms and school security, meet current earthquake standards; provide current technology, and replace old portables with permanent classrooms."

The citizens' oversight committee is charged with meeting at least quarterly to review the program and issue an annual report.

The oversight committee for 2011-12 was chaired by Todd Collins and included members Ray Bacchetti, Scott Darling, Catharine Garber, Gary Hornbeek, Mary Marth and Bruce Whitson.

Last month, three new members -- James Cowie, Walt Hays and Helene Leichter -- were appointed to the committee for a two-year term, replacing Bacchetti, Darling and Hornbeek, who had served the maximum of two terms.

In other business tonight, the school board will hear a report from an outside bond auditor, discuss the proposed purchase of four school buses, vote on a contract for window replacement in Palo Alto High School's Tower Building and Haymarket Theater and consider ways to improve the efficiency of board meetings.

Following a 5:30 p.m. closed session to discuss employee, legal and real estate issues, the board will convene in public session at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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