A little more than three years ago residents passed Measure I1, a $270 million bond measure -- and the community's first in over two decades -- that has since been used to fund pre-construction work for marquee district projects like revitalizing Lydiksen Elementary School (on track to break ground next month), replacing the portables and adding new science labs at Hart Middle and Foothill and Amador Valley High schools (starting next fiscal year) and eventually building a new school for grades 4 and 5 on the Donlon Elementary site.
Most of the work crossed off the Measure I1 project list so far, however, has been understated like adding network infrastructure or security fencing at various campuses, making some locals wonder why or if another bond is needed right now. Approximately $145.5 million remains to be allocated for the Measure I1 projects list.
"Now or never" was the answer that the consultants who were brought in last year to gauge the public's reception to another property tax gave to the Board of Trustees and Superintendent David Haglund.
A sample poll conducted in late summer showed support for a new bond was just above the 55% minimum threshold at a lower amount of $190 million; the consultants predicted this year's presidential race would likely distract voters and suggested acting sooner, prompting the Board of Trustees in November to unanimously place the initiative on the ballot this spring instead.
Labeled on the ballot as Measure M, the initiative has its critics but district officials and a number of PUSD families argue it is needed to help properly maintain, repair and remodel their aging schools, pointing to PUSD sites and amenities like both gymnasiums at Amador that could use an overhaul.
Currently there is an estimated $1.1 billion of identified projects on the district's 2018 Facilities Master Plan, including a proposed career-tech high school or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) expansion facilities.
Measure M poses this query to voters:
"To upgrade/construct classrooms and facilities to support science, technology, engineering, math, arts/music and accommodate growing student enrollment; improve safety/security systems; replace aging roofs, plumbing/electrical/HVAC systems; and improve access for students with disabilities; shall Pleasanton Unified School District's measure be adopted, authorizing $323,000,000 in bonds at legal rates, raising approximately $21,300,000 annually with rates averaging 4.31
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