Los Cerritos Elementary School students

South San Francisco Unified School District to Sell General Obligation Bonds in April

South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) could begin selling general obligation bonds to investors as early as the end of April 2023. 
This, according to SSFUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Ted O, who relayed the news to the school board during its meeting on March 23, 2023.
O said the district will sell bonds to investors in three separate series over the next several years as part of the Measure T bond program:
• $150 million in 2023;
• $150 million in 2026; and
• $136 million in 2029.
“Depending on how quickly the projects are completed and funds depleted, these years may also be adjusted,” O said. 
SSFUSD Facilities Consultant Bill Savidge said the district will focus on the construction priorities outlined in its facilities master plan.
This includes sewer lines, drainage and electrical systems, roofs, windows, lighting, flooring, and heating and ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Meanwhile, Facilities Director Wazi Chowdhury said SSFUSD’s construction needs have grown increasingly complex over time due to years of deferred maintenance.  
“Ironically, if you don’t touch a building, you’re not required to upgrade a building to the newer codes,” Chowdhury said, “so what we have been doing is we have been living with substandard systems, so we have to be very clear and transparent in explaining to people that we have things to do that may not just show up—they may be underground—they may be behind the walls, but they have to be done.”
Savidge added that the district would need to hire additional staff to help oversee the new construction. 
“In order to manage a program of this size. . .we’re going to need to have both in-house staffing increased, and we’re going to need to bring on some consultant staff teams like program and project management and construction management firms to assist us in managing these programs.” 
Passed by voters in the November 2022 midterm elections, Measure T allows SSFUSD to issue up to $436 million worth of general obligation bonds to fund repairs and renovate schools and buildings throughout the district, upgrade safety and security systems, and build affordable housing for district employees.
Citizens Bond Oversight Committee
Meanwhile, O said there are a few final steps the district must take before beginning any new construction.
These include establishing a citizens’ bond oversight committee (CBOC), updating the district’s debt policy from previous years, and receiving a new credit rating from a credit rating agency.
“The bond oversight committee monitors all projects and expenditures, provides oversight and accountability, ensures that bond funds are used as intended, and reports on the progress of Measure T projects,” said O.
The law requires that the CBOC consist of at least seven members representing the following community groups: 
• Business groups;
• Senior citizen organizations;
• Bona fide taxpayer organizations; 
• Parents/guardians of SSFUSD students; and 
• Members of a parent teacher association (PTA) who are also parents/guardians of SSFUSD students 
Each member serves a two to three-year term.  
The school board previously approved resolutions authorizing the sale of general obligation bonds and certifying passage of the Measure T bond measure during the 2022 midterm elections at its meeting on March 9, 2023.