In a late addition to Thursday night’s agenda, the Davis school board hired a new athletic director at Davis High School, advanced plans for addressing backlogged facilities maintenance and heard a budget update.
Taking over as athletic director in July will be Jeffrey Lorenson, currently a physical education teacher and athletic director at East Nicolaus High School in southern Sutter County. Lorenson has been at East Nicolaus High since 2012.
He also taught physical education and served as athletic director in the Esparto Unified School District from 2006 through 2012. Lorenson also served as a physical education teacher in the Fairfield-Suisun district during the 2005-06 academic year, and he has worked in the private sector as a manager at a health club.
Lorenson earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota, and a master’s in coaching and athletic administration through Concordia University in Irvine.
Lorenson takes over for Dennis Foster, who announced his resignation in April after four years on the job.
Thursday’s meeting also saw the school board give district staff permission to continue work on a plan to borrow roughly $20 million to pay for facilities maintenance projects throughout the district. Future revenues from Davis’ Community Facilities Districts 1 and 2 will serve as collateral. Several of these projects involve aging roofs on schools that were built decades ago.
The proposed financing plan would involve Certificates of Participation (COPS) with a 10-year term, similar to the financing that the district used several years ago to pay for construction of the new building for King High School.
Thursday’s agenda included a school-by-school list of projects, but board president Gina Daleiden stressed that “we have not prioritized the projects” at this point. Associate Superintendent Bruce Colby likewise said that “we are not bound by the list” of projects that was in Thursday’s agenda, but he added that any revenue from the financing plan “must be spent on facilities projects.”
“We have lots of (facilities) needs, we have some roofs that we really need to start working on,” Colby said. “And (currently), the interest rates are very good.”
He added that the district has only $1.5 million in unencumbered funds that might support facilities work. But he noted that facilities projects are typically paid off on completion, so the district could start projects this summer as long as the financing plan will be in place in time to cover the costs when the work is completed.
Daleiden asked if the district might “go out for a smaller amount” of financing. Colby replied “We could … but my gut tells me that if we split (the financing into two portions), we won’t be able to borrow as much.”
Colby offered a decidedly mixed assessment of the governor’s May budget revision, noting that while Davis would receive a $4 million increase in state support, it also would be required to earmark $500,000 for pension funds for district employees.
“The state is spending the new money for us,” Colby remarked.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at email@example.com or 530-747-8055.