http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2014/02/26/woodside-district-asks-voters-to-approve-135m-bond-measure


Almanac

Schools - February 26, 2014

Woodside district asks voters to approve $13.5M bond measure

by Renee Batti

Voters in the Woodside Elementary School District will be asked to approve a $13.5 million bond measure on June 3. The school board voted unanimously on Feb. 11 to place the measure on the ballot.

Should the measure pass, proceeds from the bond sales will go toward projects that include replacing portable classrooms with permanent flexible classroom space that would better accommodate modern teaching strategies; safety, security, maintenance and modernization projects; and the replacement of the Sellman Auditorium.

Officials of the one-school district estimate that if voters approve the measure, residents will be taxed at a rate of $24.05 per $100,000 of their property's assessed value.

The board had been discussing the possible ballot measure for some time, and last summer the district held community meetings to discuss campus needs and possible fundraising strategies. A study had been done earlier, and the estimated cost of the identified projects was about $17 million, according to Superintendent Beth Polito.

A team of volunteers launched a fundraising effort last year to defray part of the cost. Ms. Polito said the capital campaign leaders think they can raise about $3.5 million for the project.

Of all the identified projects the district hopes to fund with bond revenues, the replacement of Sellman Auditorium with a building of the same size will be the most costly. The new building would include a permanent stage, added storage, connection to the campus' music room, a new food service area, and restrooms, according to the study. That project would cost an estimated $7.67 million.

Other projects and their costs include: the demolition of the existing relocatable classroom and the construction of two new classrooms, about $1.7 million; the demolition of the existing relocatable classroom No. 19 and construction of a new 1,000-square-foot flexible classroom space, $711,000; and safety, security, maintenance and modernization projects, $5.9 million.

The ballot measure language approved by the board asks voters if the district should issue $13.5 million of bonds "(t)o repair basic Woodside Elementary School infrastructure and protect quality academic instruction in core subjects with local funding that cannot be taken by the State, upgrade educational facilities to meet current health/safety codes, renovate heating, electrical, sewer/security systems, (and) fix leaking roofs."

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