Vista Magnet Middle School pool modernization at completion and filled with water for the 1st. time

Vista Magnet Middle School Pool Modernization  

Rancho Buena Vista Gymnasium Expansion completed

Rancho Buena Vista High School gym expansion complete

Facilities Bond Management Team

Vista Unified has put together a great Facilities Bond Team to ensure that all aspects of the projects are carefully managed, implemented, inspected for quality, and completed within the timeline identified. The construction process is complex, involving multiple contractors, architects, construction plans, contracts, safety measures, inspectors, and unforeseen delays. Our team is composed of highly trained leaders who have decades of experience working on bond construction projects. Please find below a brief overview of each of the members of the Facilities Bond Management Team. If you have questions about the bond process, please contact Danica Reed (  

Ami Shackelford - Assistant Superintendent, Business Services; Oversees the district’s $264 million budget, risk management, facilities construction, accounting, payroll, maintenance, transportation, information systems support, food services, purchasing, print shop, and warehousing  

John Wathen - Executive Director of Facilities & Operations; Oversight of Maintenance, Operations, Grounds, Facilities, Transportation, and Construction

Kevin Waugh - Director of Construction; Oversees the district’s $247 million Facilities Bond Construction program 

Kevin Lesko - Purchasing Manager; Manages the district’s purchasing functions including surplus, inventory management and vendor bidding efforts

Karen Riedel - Bond Accountant; Responsible for fiscal management of the bond program including budgeting, asset tracking, and depreciation and fiscal reporting

Barbara Goya - Contract Specialist; Assists in the procurement process, preparing, and maintaining contracts for architectural, engineering, and facilities consulting agreements

Project Labor Agreement (PLA)

A project labor agreement (PLA) can be used by school districts and other public organizations like community colleges and cities to engage the local labor unions in the construction process. The purpose of the PLA for Vista Unified is to negotiate a contract with the San Diego Building Trade Council that allows for goals focused on local hiring, ensures jobs are completed on time, and creates career opportunities for our local residents. The decision to move the bond process under a PLA was made in September 2019, one year after Measure LL was approved. All but four of the Phase 1 and 2 construction projects have already been approved and assigned a construction manager. As a result, these projects will not be subject to a PLA.  Project Labor Agreements generally last for three to four years. With this time frame in mind, there are only four projects between phase 1 and 2 that will be considered to be included in a PLA for the next three years: The landscaping and shade improvements at Rancho Minerva Middle School, pedestrian access pathway to Lake Elementary and Madison Middle schools construction project, VIDA sewer improvement project, and Vista Magnet Middle School front entrance project. The school board nominated two board members to serve in the negotiations for the PLA contract: Cipriano Vargas and Martha Alvarado. The board anticipates having the PLA contract agreement in place by February 2020.
Project Labor Agreement for Construction and Major Rehabilitation (coming soon)

Archive for PLA Public Notice and Advisory Committee Meetings

Facilities Bond Project List

The facilities bond project
list is intended to outline the entire scope of the $247 million project. There are many projects spread over fifteen years. It is important to note that the list is subject to revision based on direction from the school board  of trustees. 

This section will be under construction as the board reviews and re-prioritizes projects based on the March 26, 2020 bond workshop.
March 26, 2020 Board Action Update

Facility Bond - Measure LL Overview

The voters of our community approved Measure LL in November 2018. This measure is intended to bring much needed relief to our aging school classrooms and facilities. For a little bit of history, the last school facilities bond approved by voters in Vista was almost 20 years ago - Measure O. This bond was a great success, allowing us to renovate many classrooms and construct new facilities like Foothill Oak Elementary and Mission Vista High School. As the Measure LL facilities bond projects start, Vista Unified is committed to including the community in transparent communications, updates, and forums so every member of our community is actively engaged in this important school facilities improvement process. To this end, we have developed a communication plan that is easily accessible to all members of the community. This plan includes periodic updates on individual construction projects, detailed reports to the school board, and live community forums before and during the construction projects so that the community members may learn about the details of the projects and provide feedback to the bond team.

Measure LL Summary of Overall Project 

The Measure LL facilities bond overall project is large. The goal of the bond is to invest $247,000,000 of the taxpayer’s money in improving classrooms and facilities throughout Vista Unified. The approval of Measure LL authorized the District to issue and sell $247,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The best estimate of the average annual tax rate is $33.15 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. That means, approximately $108 annually will be added to the property tax bill for the typical homeowner. The final fiscal year in which it is anticipated that the tax will be collected is 2057-58. This facility bond does qualify for approximately $18,000,000 in State Matching Funds. If Vista is able to receive the state matching funds, the overall project would be $265,000,000. Additionally, there are other funding resources like routine restricted maintenance and new construction developer fees that will be added to the projects to increase the construction impact. As a result of all of these funding sources braided together, Vista Unified anticipates investing more than $293,000,000 in school facility improvements over the next fifteen years (2019-2035). 

Facilities Bond Purpose

  • Repair or replace deteriorating roofs, plumbing, sewer lines, and electrical systems
  • Replace wood and support beams that have extensive termite damage or rot
  • Provide the classrooms, labs and technology to support high quality instruction in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math
  • Upgrade classrooms, libraries, and science labs to keep pace with learning technology
  • Provide classrooms, labs, and equipment for career and technology education so students are prepared for college and in-demand jobs in health sciences, engineering, technology, and skilled trades

The bond projects are organized into categories to address various aspects of the facilities that require upgrading. Many schools will see improvement during this bond process in more than one category. 

Facilities Bond Improvement Categories

Category A - Projects to create 21st century learning environments to support science, technology, engineering, and math curriculum and career/technical education training opportunities

Category B - Projects to modernize technology infrastructure

Category C - Projects to improvement student and campus safety and security

Category D - Projects to modernize and upgrade utility infrastructure, improve building functions and systems, and install energy efficient systems

Category E - Projects to complete basic facility upgrades and to meet current academic and safety standards

Category F - Projects to remove portable buildings from school campuses

Due to the large scope of work, the bond process is intended to be completed over the course of approximately fifteen years. To better track the individual bond construction projects, they have been organized into a timeline by phases. Each phase lasts approximately three years and includes many projects. It is important to note that the projects in these phases may be adjusted by the superintendent and school board. Click HERE to view a detailed list of the individual school projects on the construction timeline.  

Facilities Bond Construction Timeline

Phase 1 - 2019-2021

Phase 2 - 2022-2024

Phase 3 - 2025-2027

Phase 4 - 2028-2030

Phase 5 - 2031-2035

The facilities bond project is exciting for us all because we know that in order to realize our vision to become the model of educational excellence and innovation, we need our facilities to be high quality, safe, and stimulating places to learn and grow for all students. Please follow our progress as we work together to transform our learning environments into 21st century learning spaces that promote excellence and innovation. 

Citizen's Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC)

A requirement of every school improvement bond is to have an accountability component. Vista Unified has created a Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) for the purpose of informing the public concerning the expenditure and uses of bond revenues. The Committee’s legal charge is to actively review and report on the expenditure of taxpayers’ money for school construction. Click HERE to view the details of the CBOC oversight role. The CBOC is composed of representatives selected from the community. The CBOC meets quarterly to review the progress of the bond projects

CBOC Members

John Aguilera, Charles Basso, Garth Hall, Michael Large, Linda Latimer, Michael Hunsaker, Heather Emaus and Penny Harrington

CBOC Meetings



VUSD Measure LL Bond