Bond measure gets school board approval

The Las Virgenes Unified School District has voted unanimously to place a $128 million bond measure on the June ballot.

The cost to voters will be no more than $25 per $100,000 property valuation, the school district said.

Each school in the district outlined projects that were needed over the next 10 years.

According to the school board’s Terilyn Finders, “(The bond) is moving us into 21st cen

ury education.”

After polling community members, the school district prepared a list of priorities. First was

he expansion of Lindero Canyon Middle School in Agoura Hills. Upgrading technology in the schools was deemed equally important.

The poll also found that citizens want the money to be spent on new science labs, restrooms, emergency systems and the replacement of aging trailer classrooms. Crowded classrooms were also discussed.

“There is not one frivolous thing on this list,” said Pat Schulz, school board member.

Bond money can only be used for new facilities and infrastructure projects. Officials said the money generated from the bond could not be used for teacher salaries or administrative raises.

Money spent on two performing arts centers at local high schools would benefit the community at large, officials said. According to Finders, the facilities also could be used as “district learning centers” and lecture halls.

“They would be multi-use facilities,” said Cindy Iser, school board president.

The bond needs 55 per cent of the vote to pass.

“It’s not simply the task of moving earth and putting walls up,” said Dave Moorman, board member. “We have the opportunity to change the face of education here in our district.”

The bonds will be sold in three phases with the expected return on investment conservatively pegged at 4 percent.

Some board members questioned whether it would be better to collect a higher amount of money from the bond sales up front since the district has so many immediate needs and the cost of construction continues to rise. Superintendent Sandra Smyser said the school district might become “overloaded” if it handled too many projects at once.

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