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Permanent Vs. Portable Space

Unmet Promises

In its request for taxpayer support through bond measures, the district presents a plan to use the funds requested.  The last capital bond measure was Measure H voted on in November 1998, for a total of $94.7 Million.  The bond was authorized to be paid off by 2023 with an annual cost of up to  60 cents per $1000 of property value. The projects accomplished were completed by 2008.  Some important work promised in the Measure H Ballot Language were never undertaken as promised.  We taxpayers are still paying off these projects today, and this will continue until 2023.

   Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
          -- George Santayana  (The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense.
              Scribner’s, 1905: 284)

Chief among the broken promises was the replacement of portables by permanent classrooms.  Here is where we are today, not counting childcare space found on every campus aside from the charter school:

Space at LASD Elementary Schools   
There was also some difficulty in controlling the costs spent on refurbishment of the permanent space at each school so as to spread the total available according to need.  The bond measure committed to refurbishing all 8 existing schools and to reopening Covington as a 9th school.  As time went on there appeared to be less chance that the original total would cover all 9 schools.  However, when we look at the actual projects and the size of the permanent school buildings that were refurbished, it develops that the amount spent per unit of space was consistently rising as time went on, at more than the inflation rate.  To adjust for the increasing cost of building, we can use the Turner Construction Building Cost Index which provides the index values shown in the next table.  The calculates cost per square foot as indexed normalizes the cost to the year 2002, and eliminates the variation due to economic factors leaving only a cost per square foot which  must depend on the degree of refurbishment involved.

If we look at the cost per square foot in 5 distinct periods of time, the increase is even more striking.  It appears that the degree of refurbishment grew from period to period, starting out at below $300, crossing that amount, passing $400 and almost reaching $500 in 2004 when Oak buildings were renovated. These costs are indexed to the year 2002.