With the arrival of the new year, the Folsom Cordova Unified School District (FCUSD) is moving forward with its ongoing attention to financial needs for the construction of its future schools in both Folsom and Rancho Cordova within its third School Facility Improvement District (SFID3). This Monday, Jan. 8, talks resume with a special FCUSD study session. 

Monday’s meeting is expected to included review of staff reports that are expected to contain demographics and bond financing data pertaining to SFID 3. This will be the latest in a series of such sessions that began in late 2022 as the FCUSD began to face financial challenges when it comes to construction plans as costs have risen far beyond the original budgets that can be attributed mostly to inflation.


Watch Monday’s meeting live here below:

Since the time the district originally created school designs for its facilities back in 2016, the cost of construction has risen more than 160% while land acquisition costs have increased 200%.  As an example, the Alder Creek Elementary School that is currently being built, and the Mangini Ranch Elementary School that opened just over a year ago both came at a cost of approximately $85,000,000.  The cost of the future Folsom Ranch High School as designed is projected to be in the neighborhood of $400,000,000.


The original plans and costs were designed to fit into the Measure M funds of $750,000,000. However, with the need for an additional high school campus in both south Folsom and Rancho Cordova, where communities are rapidly growing, the funds would be depleted long before the district was able to fulfill its original plans with them that included three additional middle schools in Folsom Ranch, a middle school and a high school in addition to the needed schools in the southern region of Rancho Cordova, an area that continues to grow rapidly as well. The Folsom Schools alone would exhaust the remaining funds with the rise in the costs associated with the current designs.

Construction continues to move along on Alder Creek Elementary School in Folsom Ranch, which will be the second school south of highway 50 and is expected to be completed in time to welcome students in the fall of 2024. Photo: Bill Sullivan

In its recent study prior to the holidays that went over three hours in length, the district and local officials weighed several creative options. Among the preliminary discussions have been redesigns of the previous plans that could reduce square footage of the facilities and move to single story floor plans to reduce construction costs.  


Additional discussions have included the consideration of building the needed school (s) in one of the two areas where needed, including Rancho Cordova or Folsom, and delaying the other until an additional funding source could be secured. The last study session wrapped up with school board members asking for additional data and demographics to be gathered to further review options, the Jan. 8 meeting will present much of those demographics to further study and discuss the needs.


Monday’s meeting will begin at 6 pm at the FCUSD office, which is located at at 1965 Birkmont Drive in Rancho Cordova, across from the Folsom Auto Mall. 

Joint redistricting meeting slated for Jan. 29

In addition to Monday’s meeting, on Jan. 29 the FCUSD will hold another important meeting. The evening will be a joint meeting with members of Folsom City Council, and Rancho Cordova City Council to further review options of a possible splitting of the district in the future. 


This meeting will be a follow up since the three parties agreed to share the cost to study the possibility. Findings from that study will be reviewed at the Jan. 29 meeting for review and discussion. 

What exactly is an SFID?

A School Facility Improvement District, referred to as an SFID, is a portion of the school district that is taxed through a general obligation (G.O.) bond based on the value of the property and approved by the voters in that portion of the district being taxed. When SFIDs were created in 1998, they required two-thirds voter approval. In July 2001, the Legislature added the option of a 55% voter approval threshold with the additional accountability provisions of Proposition 39.  Typically, SFIDs involve housing developments that create additional facility needs for the school district.

Measure G – (FOLSOM, NORTH OF HIGHWAY 50) Approved in 2014 by voters in SFID 5 (Click for Map). The $195 million in general obligation bonds to renovate, rehabilitate, modernization classrooms and build new school facilities.  The district has applied to the State to secure additional funding from the State School Building Program for many of the projects.  More information about Measure G and projects funded by these funds can be found at this link:  Measure G

Measure P – (RANCHO CORDOVA)  Approved by voters of Rancho Cordova SFID 4 (Click for Map) in 2012, Measure N provided $68 million in general obligation bonds to continue to provide educational improvements, such as computer technology improvements, upgrade science labs, replacement of old portables and library improvements.  More information about Measure N and projects funded by these funds can be found at this link:  Measure P

Measure M – (NEW DEVELOPMENT AREA SOUTH OF HWY 50)  Approved by voters of SFID 3 (Click for Map) in 2007, Measure M provides $750 million in general obligation bonds to provide educational improvements, such as computer technology improvements, upgrade science labs, replacement of old portables and library improvements.  More information about Measure M and projects funded by these funds can be found at this link:  Measure M

Measure M funded projects:  According to Folsom Cordova School District Documents, Measure M plans would fund a wide variety of projects throughout the existing campuses in Rancho Cordova.  The links below will take you to the sites where Measure M funds were expected to be expended thus far and will provide a detail regarding the improvements.  It is estimated that Measure M will fund up to 30 new schools in the Measure M area. 

 Site Project Type Status  
 Mather High/Morrison Creek Middle New Middle/High   School Planning 
 Education Services Center New Construction Complete
 New Maintenance Services Center New Construction Planning and Design
 Rio del Oro Elementary #1 New Elementary Planning
 Glenborough Elementary #1 New Elementary Planning
 Mangini Ranch Elementary New Elementary Opened 8/2021
 Alder Creek Elementary New Elementary Opening 24/25 school     year
 Folsom Ranch Elementary #3 (name TBD) New Elementary Planning
 Folsom Ranch Middle New Middle Planning
 Folsom Ranch High New High Planning and Design