Calaveras County, CA — Calaveras Unified School District Board of Trustees, voted unanimously to stop funding for the new 500 seat performing arts center.
The board called a halt to plans to refinance a district loan to help pay for some of the $5.4 million dollar project.
Several board members voiced concern over increasing the debt in this poor economy and suggested using the money elsewhere.
Calaveras Unified Superintendent, Mark Campbell says “The board put on hold the performing arts center project. The direction now is to gather a list of other projects in the district and gauge the impact of canceling the project entirely, but also see if there is another potential performing arts facility that we could pursue that wouldn’t cost as much.” Campbell adds, “My job now is to present that to the board so they can make an informed decision as to how to spend the remaining bond monies.”
Originally, the district had planned to spend $7.7 million on the arts center, but had to cut its budget down to $5.4 million due to the poor economy. They were able to do that by taking out some parts of the building including some dressing rooms and a catwalk. Even after doing that the district was nearly $500 thousand dollars short of its budget, so the plan was to do some refinancing of previous debt at a lower interest rate and with more time to pay off the debt.
Most of the money for the project was coming from a voter approved bond and the state kicking in more than a million dollars.
In June, the board voted four to one to move ahead with the plan, but Campbell says if they hadn’t vote to move forward the district would have missed a state deadline and ultimately lost that state funding.