EL CENTRO – Central Union High School District officials approached the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, seeking support for a proposed bond measure to be placed on the ballot June 7 to benefit district schools needing a major face lift.
“The only way upgrades will be met is by passing a bond measure, which is a local tax based on the assessed value of your home,” said Renato Montano, CUHSD superintendent.
On March 8, the school board trustees unanimously voted to place Measure K, a $30 million education bond, on the June 7 ballot creating a dedicated source of local funds to repair and upgrade the CUHSD facilities.
“The purpose of this measure is to improve our facilities,” said Montano. “We have an extensive list of things that need to be addressed at our facilities. In fact, a few months before the board decided to place Measure K on the ballot, we contacted a local architect who conducted an inspection and determined we needed to improve our facilities by about $55 million and as a result of the findings, we (CUHSD) decided to place Measure K on the ballot.”
According to Montano, some CUHSD classrooms and buildings were built nearly 70 years ago, with one being 102 years old.
“Measure K will make urgent repairs to old, deteriorating classrooms and buildings, upgrade classrooms, computer systems, science labs and vocational training rooms, plus improve student learning and achievement,” said Montano.
Measure K priorities will ensure all schools and classrooms meet California earthquake safety standards; ensure school drinking water continues to be safe; repair and upgrade leaky roofs, plumbing and restrooms; upgrade electrical systems and writing code for computers and internet access; and upgrade fire safety systems including smoke alarms, smoke detectors and fire sprinklers.
Additional projects in the facility assessment and five-year plan include Central Union High’s new science, technology, engineering and math facilities (STEM building), upgrade existing science building and upgrade existing math building. For Southwest High, an aquatic pool (competition pool), gym and MPR roof replacement, gym and MPR HVAC replacement, campus hardscape and drainage project, tile repair/replacement and paint the entire campus. At Desert Oasis High School, the Phoenix Rising program, install two modular classrooms, a restroom facility and campus diner.
“Our priority is Central Union High School since it is the oldest of our schools within the District,” said Jessi Preciado, assistant superintendent for the district. “The business building at Central Union High School is 102 years old. The proposal is to demolish and build a two-story stem building with 30 classrooms in addition to modernize, upgrade and repair the science facility to make those (science) classrooms accommodating to the other needs of the school site.”
According to Preciado, the facility and five-year plan will have an approximate completion cost of close to $67 million.
At Tuesday morning’s board of supervisors meeting, the district proposed an increase of $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value, not market value, for a 30-year bond term.
An example given was if a home is worth $250,000 and the bond measure passes, a resident can expect an increase of about $75 per year.
“I have endorsed this bond, and I certainly know the conditions of Central Union High School,” said Jesus “Jack” Terrazas, chairman of the board of supervisors. “Upgrading these facilities will certainly change the way student learn.”