Cal High theater on docket

Brenna Swift, The Union Democrat /

PUBLIC MEETING: Calaveras Unified School District Board of Trustees, 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Gold Strike High School Cafeteria, 501 Gold Strike Road, San Andreas.

Calaveras Unified School District's Board of Trustees will get a budget update Tuesday and continue its discussion about whether to build a performing arts center at Calaveras High School.

The board will hear three options regarding the proposed construction of the performing arts center at Calaveras High with funding that remains from the $13.5 million Measure A, passed by district voters in 2006.

One option would entail moving forward with the construction of the performing arts center as planned and previously approved at a May board meeting.

In September, facing the possibility that matching state funding for the project wouldn't materialize, the board voted to cancel a financing plan for the theater.

Calaveras Unified Superintendent Mark Campbell is now recommending the district build the performing arts center as planned, for an estimated cost of $5.4 million.

Campbell said that recent action at the state level has made him more hopeful that the matching funds for the project will come through. The district has also determined it could undertake the project without a refinancing plan approved in May.

A second option to be presented at the Tuesday meeting would involve starting over with a less-expensive design, and a third would allow the district to draft a list of smaller projects for Measure A money.

Campbell said the board will make a decision on the performing arts center at the Tuesday meeting or its regular meeting Jan. 22.

Also on Tuesday, the board will get a budget update reflecting good news from the passage of Proposition 30. Campbell cautioned that some cuts will still be necessary due to the district's ongoing deficit of more than $2.4 million a year.

While Proposition 30 helped stabilize the district's budget for this year, the forecast for the following two years is less certain, he said.

In addition to laying off six teachers, Campbell is recommending the closure of both Rail Road Flat Elementary and Jenny Lind Alternative High schools for next year.

Though the schools are not on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, a decision on the closures would need to be made this spring.

Tuesday's board meeting will be the first for new board member Gregory Gustafson, who won his board seat against John Yerman in the Nov. 6 election. Board member Sherri Reusche was reelected against challenger Allen Lujan.

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The Union Democrat
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