The Burbank Unified School District continues to add classrooms and upgrade school facilities and infrastructure with funds provided by the Burbank voter-approved Measure S Bond. New elementary school classrooms, solar energy savings, technology and infrastructure upgrades and new Chromebooks for middle school and high school classes have been the focus of the latest work.
“Due to the generous support of Burbank voters, our schools continue to receive much needed upgrades,” commented BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill. “This past year we sold the last issuance of bonds for the $110 million Measure ‘S’ election of 2013.”
“The Series C bonds are expected to have an average interest rate of 3.59%. Most important is the fact that the District will be able to maintain a maximum tax rate of $55.18 (per $100,000 of assessed property value) on all of its outstanding school bonds, as promised.”
Projects the Measure S Bond proceeds pay for include heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades; fencing and asphalt replacements; LED lighting retrofits (at nine sites); playground upgrades; solar panel installations (at nine sites); and the installation of fire alarms, clocks, PA systems and energy management systems.
Modernization projects at Horace Mann Children’s Center and the SEED special education preschool, also located at Horace Mann, are nearing completion. The work included fire sprinklers, fire alarm, public address, energy management system (EMS), HVAC, lighting, ADA, flooring, resilient flooring, casework, restroom remodel and painting.
Burbank Unified also added network infrastructure, computers and the 21st Century Classroom modernization features.
Work on new modular classrooms at Stevenson Elementary is also nearly finished. The District added 11 classrooms with two student restrooms and one staff restroom over the summer.
New modular classrooms with restroom facilities have already replaced portable “bungalow” classrooms at Washington, Emerson and Roosevelt elementary schools.
The new classrooms include many upgrades such as built-in teaching walls, better quality and more efficient LED lighting and improved heating and cooling systems, along with 21st Century teaching technology, improved wireless equipment and an energy management system.
New modular building work has begun at Bret Harte and Jefferson elementary schools, with work scheduled to be completed by Spring/Summer 2018.
BUSD will add 12 classrooms for instruction and four classrooms for child care, four student restrooms and two staff restrooms at Bret Harte. Jefferson Elementary will add nine classrooms, two student restrooms and one staff restroom.
The District is in the planning stages for Edison and McKinley elementary schools, with Edison and McKinley groundbreaking aimed for Summer 2018. BUSD plans to add four classrooms to Edison and six classrooms with two student restrooms and one staff restroom to McKinley.
The modular classroom project for Disney Elementary is also in the very early planning stages, with specifics to be determined.
Burbank Unified has also partnered with OpTerra Energy Services to put in place infrastructure upgrades, such as solar panels over school parking lots, to provide revenue through energy savings and use of renewables. BUSD is projected to save $10.4 million over the 30 year program.
As of September 2016, the District has achieved energy savings of 889,905 kWh or $124,943.00. A solar dashboard, in the Measure S section of the District’s website, can be viewed to see the savings at individual school sites.
BUSD has also partnered with the City of Burbank and Burbank Water and Power to put high-speed internet, also known as dark fiber, in place at all school sites and office locations.
Upgrades to network infrastructure and wireless continue at all BUSD sites and computers have been refreshed at all school computer labs, offices and libraries.
Additionally, the District sent 101 Chromebook carts to all middle and high schools. Each cart has 38 Chromebooks and they are being used in English Language Arts classes.
A new Data Center was built at the District Service Center and a new telephone system (VoIP) is currently being installed. All of BUSD classrooms continue to be updated with new projectors, document cameras and voice amplification systems.
More information regarding the Measure S Bond and progress on the various projects can be found on the BUSD website.