Measure A would finance Clovis Unified improvements
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clovis Unified is gearing up for a vote that will determine whether the district will renovate older schools and build a new campus in a growing area of town. District leaders say 60-percent of the schools are more than 20 years old and many are in need of costly repairs.
At one time, Clovis West High School was considered the crown jewel of the district. But it's now 36 years old -- and Deputy Principal Eimear O'Farrell insists in need of some major upgrades. "Our classrooms, the square footage are below that of our newer, sister high schools."
Right now she says 13 classrooms on campus sit empty - unfit for students. There's also more than a dozen portable classroom on campus and many of the buildings lack the proper infrastructure to support new technology. "The HVAC systems and the lighting systems are not as efficient. So they cost more to run and they cost more to repair."
On June 5th, families who live within the boundaries of Clovis Unified will a chance to vote on a Measure A. A $298 million school bond that would maintain, repair and upgrade more than 50 campuses and help fund the construction of a new elementary school in Southeast Clovis.
Clovis Unified spokesperson, Kelly Avants said, "Our facilities committee actually identified over $400 million dollars' worth of plumbing, the list goes on and on."
If approved, the district says Measure A would not increase the existing tax rate because a bond measure is set to expire. But not everyone supports the initiative.
Chris Mathyse said, "I know the proponents are telling you that your tax bill won't change, but what they're not telling you is that if we don't pass the measure your tax bill will go down."
Mathys with the Valley Taxpayers Association said, if you look at the cost, Measure A (combined with the other bond measures currently in place) equates to about $150 dollars annually in property taxes for every $100,000 you spend on your home. If Measure A does not pass, the tax rate drops down to $124 per $100,000 your home is worth. "I think if you ask families if they want to commit to a bond in this economic climate, most wouldn't want to do it."
But if you're undecided - you'll have a chance to learn more about the measure. The district is holding community meetings to educate the public. The next one is scheduled for Thursday.
clovis unified school district, clovis, fresno county, education, linda mumma
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