The Coast News Group
Bond measure
Measure LL was a $247 million bond passed in 2018. File photo
Cities Community News Vista Vista Featured

Vista Unified looks at new Measure LL projects

VISTA — The Vista Unified School District (VUSD) pivoted from one project to potentially include two others at Lake Elementary and Madison Middle schools.

The Board of Education directed staff during its Nov. 12 meeting to research cost estimates for two new projects to take the place of the pedestrian pathway at the schools. Those include more restrooms at Lake and more shade structures at Madison.

However, Phase III of Measure LL, the $247 million bond passed in 2018, already has a restroom project at Lake scheduled for $1.3 million, according to the itemized list. The cost for shade structures at Madison is unknown must be researched by staff.

The pathway project is also part of the project labor agreement approved by the district in 2019. The cost for that project was estimated at $1.6 million, according to Superintendent Matt Doyle.

“This is the information we’re getting back from the community, so I don’t see why we don’t go along with this,” said Trustee Cipriano Vargas.

The board, district officials and principals, though, shared concerns over the location of the pathway and a lack of visibility of students. The safety challenges could exacerbate poor behavior, especially as the pathway exits into a nearby shopping center, Doyle said.

However, Doyle said the City of Oceanside is considering expanding the sidewalks in front of the schools, thus one reason the board opted to look at the other projects.

Staff will return in late January or early February to present its findings, according to John Wathen, executive director of facilities and operations.

As for other projects, he said the completed projects include the softball field at Rancho Buena Vista High School and the Vista High School sports complex.

In design are the new classroom buildings and landscape designs at Vista High School. The landscaping includes stormwater collection and treatment as required by state law, Wathen said.

Ami Shackleford, assistant superintendent of business services, said the district saved nearly $300,000 as a result of change orders for Phase I projects, while two new projects at Vista High School are set to break ground.

Of the $22.9 million allocated for projects in Phase I, VUSD has paid about $14.5 million.