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Lindsay Unified places $16 million bond measure on November ballot
LUSD - modernize, construct, improve
The Lindsay Unified School District is counting on the passing of Measure L — a $16 million general obligation bond measure which will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot — to fund the district’s required improvements, including the modernization, construction and improvement of classrooms and student support facilities.
Most of the district’s six elementary schools, with kindergarten-through eighth-grade programs, were built more than 25 years ago and are in dire need of modernizing the basic infrastructure systems, school officials said.
“The District has done a good job at maintaining its facilities, however the vast majority were constructed prior to 1987 and substantial improvements are now required,” read the revised final document of the Facilities Improvement Plan presented before the District’s Board in late August. “A plan has been developed that uses the District’s eligibility for approximately $5.3 million in State grants to help modernize its older elementary schools; however, a local contribution is required.”
Placing Measure L on the November ballot allows retrofitting of the schools with energy-efficiency improvements, saves the district money, and provides students with improved access to computers and classroom technology to increase academic achievement, school officials said.
In total, an approximate $21 million is needed to modernize and improve schools. But because of the sch0ols’ ages, the District is eligible for $5.3 million in State grants to assist in funding required improvements. The $16 million from the bond measure, funded locally over time, is needed in order to complete all of the projects on the plan.
A poll conducted in April, indicated an 71% of local voters willing to support the G.O. bond measure to improve local schools, with homeowners willing to pay an additional $49 tax per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
Among the improvements that can be expected with the bond measure are repairs of leaky roofs; upgrading of outdated utility, heating and ventilation systems; and modernizing classrooms, multipurpose rooms and rest rooms.
In addition, student safety will be enhanced with fencing, security and fire alarm systems and with additional exterior lighting.
The district also plans to improve drainage, circulation, parking, and traffic improvements, play courts, play equipment, drinking fountains and site furniture, and replace portable classrooms with permanent school facilities.
Because of the generosity of the local community, there have been incredible improvements to the facilities in Lindsay Unified over the past ten years, said Lindsay Unified School District Superintendent Tom Rooney.
“Our district and community have established a new standard of excellence with regard to facilities. This standard is noticed in the new Lindsay High School, the new Roosevelt Elementary School, two new gymnasiums, a new library at the high school, a new continuation campus, the new science labs at all K-8 schools, and much more,” Rooney said. “These are facilities that anyone associated with Lindsay learners can be very proud of.”
In March of 2002, the Lindsay Unified District passed a general obligation bond to construct and improve its facilities. Six years later, in 2008, Measure B helped with improvements and in the building of Lindsay High School and Roosevelt Elementary, which opened in December 2010 and August 2011, respectively. The construction of the two schools assisted in alleviating overcrowding issues due to increasing enrollment. The District was able to garner $51 million in state aid to construct Roosevelt Elementary and the new Lindsay High School.
Measure L, he said, will continue the progress and ensure that all school facilities throughout the district meet the new standard of excellence.
“One section of the Lindsay Vision for Stakeholders states that ‘Members of the community are very familiar with and supportive of the Lindsay vision [and] they have made education a top priority,’” Rooney said. “In Lindsay, the community believes that the learners and teachers deserve only the best as we prepare our learners to succeed in a globally competitive society.”
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.