The bond, expected to raise just over $11 million, will not build a new school or take care of items that may be wanted, but are of lower priority than the much-needed fixes. The bond amount is expected to cost landowners approximately $60 per $100,000 in property evaluation, it was noted at last week’s board meeting.
“We want to make sure everyone is clear,” noted Trustee Mary Wadsworth. “This bond will raise enough to address our priority one items on the facilities master plan. We can address other areas only if the tax base rises.”
The district last fall held a town hall meeting to prioritize items for each school site that needed to be addressed. For example, replacement of asphalt and concrete at Bret Harte Elementary School rated a number one priority; with plumbing improvements falling to a number two; fencing, three; and additional restrooms, a four. Each site has items with similar ratings.
Some of the needed repairs and improvements are being addressed outside the bond funding. The district has received over $6 million in state, federal and local funds to construct the new Technology Learning Center (TLC) at the high school. Another $5.4 million in state emergency repair money has been utilized to replace asphalt and concrete at four sites, along with taking care of new windows and some roofing repair. District deferred maintenance funds add $280,000 to the pot for improvements, while state modernization money comes in with $3 million. Last year’s College of the Sequoias bond is expected to net the local school district another $1.5 million.