(August 7, 2012, BRAWLEY) –The kids may have been on vacation these past weeks, but the Brawley Elementary School District has been hard at work. Trenches snake their way through the Barbara Worth Junior High grounds as miles of high tech cables are installed that will thoroughly modernize the school’s computers, internet compatibility and online communication.
Myron D. Witter School has received a new red-tile roof and reception room for visitors. If the work remains on schedule, the site will be ready for the first wave of returnees, specifically the teachers and staff.
Kitchens at several schools, but mainly Barbara Worth, are also getting new appliances, tables, and an expanded sitting area. Ice makers were purchased for each school site to be used in the salad bar while new water coolers for each school were approved as part of the Obesity Project.
Perhaps the biggest work in progress is the $7.5 million dollar bond measure being readied for the November 6, 2012 ballot. On July 5-14th, a required survey polled 200 Brawley citizens on their views of a new junior high gymnasium/multipurpose room. Currently, Brawley has the only junior high without a full gym.
Those polled had a positive view of the job the district is doing with 65% choosing either excellent or good while 37% chose fair or poor. An additional 12% answered “didn’t know”. Sixty-seven percent agreed that improving the school was a top priority even if it meant raising taxes.
Once the poll questions zeroed in on building a school multipurpose room, 79% of those polled thought they would vote “yes” for the measure, even if it raised taxes.
The bond is a Proposition 39 bond, meaning a majority (55%) is all that is necessary to pass the measure, versus a two-third’s vote necessary for a regular bond. These bonds have become more common and more controversial as districts choose this easier- to- pass pathway. An extra expense comes with this type of measure – an annual audit fee by an approved auditing firm.
“If this passes in November, we should have an oversight committee made up of citizens by February,” said Leslie Marshall, director of finances for BESD, concerning the check and balance on the expenditure of the bond money consisting of a group of citizens chosen to watch expenditures.
There is also $2,114,234.00 in the district’s budget left over from a 1994 bond. This money has been used for emergency funds since its original purposes ended and the board hasn’t decided on whether it will be included in the building fund.
Brawley elementary schools will begin classes August 27th.