Trustees of the Galt Joint Union High School District met June 11 for their last regular meeting before taking a quick summer break. During the meeting, trustees changed the day of the week for their meetings for the rest of the year, approved a 6 percent salary increase for the superintendent, approved the 2019-20 proposed budget and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), and tabled for the next morning, an emergency resolution to enter into a contract to fix water and mold damage at Liberty Ranch High School. This was approved at a special meeting the next morning, June 12.

Noting conflicts for future meetings, the board chose to change regular board meetings from the second Tuesday of each month to the first Thursday of each month, except in December when there is a conflict. The board will continue to meet at City Hall at 6 p.m. for those regular meetings. Future meeting dates are Aug. 1, Sept. 5, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 19, to accommodate for the CSBA conference.

At the December meeting, board members will readdress meeting dates, times and location during their regularly scheduled organizational meeting.

Trustees approved an overall 6 percent salary increase for Superintendent William Spalding, who just completed his first year at the helm of the district.

According to Spalding’s contract, his term of employment was continued by one school year to June 30, 2022 and is eligible to receive a salary increase consistent to other employee groups at 3 percent. In addition, Spalding was granted a column increase of 3 percent for a total of 6 percent.

Trustees agreed to revise the superintendent’s contract so that all contractual monthly expense allowances, such as car and cellular, be included into the total salary for the superintendent. This will eliminate the additional payment of expense allowances in the future.

Spalding’s total salary will be $193,900 annually.

“I want to commend Bill (Spalding) for the job he’s done this year,” Board President Dan Denier said at the meeting. “It has been a completely different turn around in direction that the board and the district is heading, and I think we owe that to you. You came in and you’ve gotten us through and we’ve had things – like with all the construction where you’ve brought in value engineering that has saved the district money. I think that’s important that people understand that – that the job you’ve done has been pretty significant for the district this past year.”

Spalding started his tenure at the opening of Hawk Stadium and just last month celebrated the ribbon cutting of the new Warrior Stadium, as well as the groundbreaking of the state-of-the-art two-story science building at Galt High.

Denier went on to thank the entire administrative team at the district level, as well as all the teachers and staff of the district.

“I really do look forward to working, in the distant future, with you (Spalding) and this board, because this is a good board we have right now,” Denier said.

The item was approved 4-0. Trustee Mark Beck was absent.

Trustees approved the 2019-20 budget with a 4-0 vote. And although the district will be deficit spending in the next couple of fiscal years, staff concluded that the district would still be able to meet its financial obligations for the current and subsequent two years.

“Administration is confident that the district will be able to maintain prudent operating reserves, and have the necessary cash in order to ensure that the district remains fiscally solvent,” the staff report concluded.

The district operates on an approximate $27,000,000 budget.

Needing the approval of the entire board, trustees tabled approving an emergency resolution to enter into a contract to fix significant water damage in the agricultural building at Liberty Ranch High School. On top of the water damage, “unhealthy forms of mold” began to grow within the walls.

Because Trustee Beck was absent the resolution was tabled until the next day, when all trustees could meet together. It was passed 5-0 on July 12.

Although testing results showed that there is unhealthy mold growths encapsulated inside the south wall of the ag building, air quality in each room was in the good or normal range at this time.

“None of the mold found has become airborne or made its way into the interior class and shop space, thus there has been no health risk posed to students or staff,” staff reported.

Because of the “emergency situation” concerning potential safety and there is an immediate need to repair and restore the building to begin the new school year, district officials sought an emergency resolution to expedite the project.

The emergency resolution’s expedited timeline eliminates the district’s need to go through the normal bidding process, allowing the district to move forward immediately.

An emergency resolution requires a unanimous vote from all board members, as well as the blessing of the Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, David Gordon.

As the newest building on the Liberty Ranch campus, district staff is puzzled as to how this could happen.

“From the inspections with representatives from the builder, roofer, and district M&O (maintenance and operations), the issue was found to be significant with moisture and damage under the roofing layer, but with no obvious cause or source. The roofing itself appeared intact,” staff reported.

The district has hired an “expert forensic water intrusion inspection team” to determine the cause and source.

“After the abatement is completed, walls and air quality will be retested to ensure healthy levels and that the substance has been fully removed and cleaned,” staff reported.

District officials plan to have the walls removed and reconstructed in time for the first day of school Aug. 12.

“Our aim is to have everything returned to normal and to be able to re-occupy the building in time to start the new school year,” staff reported.