TUSD to ask public for $82 million bond
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Feb 13, 2014 | 5492 views | 13 13 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nearly a decade into two bond-funded school renovation projects, Tracy Unified School District officials are asking voters to approve a third bond in June to complete the process with an additional $82 million.

A facilities assessment completed in late October determined that there are still schools in need of renovation, according to TUSD finance adviser Dave Olsen.

Olsen told the trustees at their meeting Tuesday that the assessment was based on safety and accessibility, technology and equity among schools. He said bringing all the district’s schools to the same standard would require $82 million in renovations during the next five to eight years.

The board agreed with the proposal and voted unanimously to put the bond measure request on the June 3 ballot.

Trustee Kelly Lewis said he was in favor of finishing the districtwide renovations.

“I think it’s time again,” he said. “We’ve done what we said we would do (with the other bonds). We’ve still got a lot of schools not there yet.”

He said the new bond would finance work that included renovations to Central, South/West Park, Villalovoz and Jacobson elementary schools.

The two bonds most recently approved by the voters were Measure E, in 2006, for $51 million to renovate Tracy High and complete West High; and Measure S, in 2008, for $43 million to modernize North and Monte Vista Middle schools and update technology throughout the district.

The new measure would require a 55 percent voter approval on June 3, Olsen said. The burden on the average property tax payer would be about $50 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Trustee Greg Silva pointed out that there were needs, wants and desires, and this project should be categorized as a need.

“We’re not going to build the Taj Mahal of schools,” he said. “These are good-quality facilities that are going to educate our children. We’re asking the public to help us pass this bond.”

Superintendent Dr. James Franco also made a plea for the passing of the bond, speaking about what the district had accomplished with the two previous bonds.

“It’s imperative we finish what we started,” he said. “To the community, it’s something to be proud of. It’s time for all of us to come together and work together as a team.”

TUSD spokesman Joel Danoy said the next step was to create a bond steering committee, which would be responsible for identifying how the money would be used if the bond should meet voter approval.

“This is the final round of renovations that the district has been going through,” he said. “It’s real important to get these schools equal to other district schools.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

 
Comments
(13)
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YuckyYucky
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February 24, 2014
Last time I voted yes, but this time I want to thank everybody else who is voting no.
MrSycamore
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February 24, 2014
Let's focus on our teachers first! Then we'll talk about the facilities. I'm voting no!
ciscokid52
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February 23, 2014
My daughter goes to private school. I still have a portion of my taxes which go to fund all other kids. NO vote for me.
MrSycamore
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February 24, 2014
Amen Cisco!
ertion
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February 16, 2014
What did people vote for when they voted for measure S back in 2008? This is what the ballot measure said:

"To renovate and modernize the community's oldest elementary and middle schools, upgrade classrooms, replace aging roofs, old heating, electrical, plumbing, cooling and ventilation systems with energy efficient systems, and improve security and technology systems at all schools, increasing student access to computers."

Do you see ANYTHING in that measure that says it is part of a bond rollout over the next few years to maintain schools that evidently are NOT being properly maintained year-to-year by the TUSD board? I don't. You can guarantee my NO vote.

It is a mis-representation and lie for Franco to say this simply continues what "started", as if those voting for the measure envisioned a series of these to bail out a school board that does not properly maintain its buildings. Those of us who voted for this bond measure WOULD NOT have voted for it if we knew it was insufficient for the task. Now we are being asked to not remember what was said and be "proud" (Franco's term) of being STUPID.
airzzzz
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February 14, 2014
Even though my kids go to private school I would have probably voted yes until late week when I was kicked off one of TUSD's baseball fields while having a t-ball practice because I didn't have a permit to use the field. Nobody else was using any of the fields at this particular school during the time we were practicing. I looked into the permit process and guess what its costs $$ and the process to get one is insane. I guess renting out the tax payers ball fields to little league teams is a good way for them to make money.
fortheunderdog
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February 14, 2014
"...Central, South/West Park, Villalovoz and Jacobson elementary schools."

These four schools were listed as needing renovation. Are there any others? If the answer is yes, I can see another bond on a future ballot and the beat goes on.

I would like to know what renovations are needed to these schools. Since we can't see this in person, perhaps the TP can show photos of what work is needed to these schools.

What I would like to see is an increase in teachers allowances to purchase items for their classrooms and student learning. Some teachers only have a $500, for the school year, allowance. If a bond were put on the ballot to increase this limit I would vote for it and it would be far less than the $82 million they're voicing.

You're wondering why they even need an allowance, aren't you? It's used to buy supplies that most classrooms are without because of budgeting. Teachers are actually buying classroom supplies out of their own pockets. Let's give the teachers the help they need to effectively teach your student.
TracyRAP
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February 14, 2014
Just say NO.

This is absolutely beyond ridiculous.
Sero7
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February 13, 2014
These people are out of their mind. You see, when you pass one bond, they will just keep coming back for more. It never ends! I am sick and tired of them taking and taking and taking. I can tell you first hand that the schools districts have money for what they want to have money for, and they want to use your money to pay for the things they don't want to spend their money on. I deal with school districts in three counties, and I can tell you it is so mismanaged it makes me sick to my stomach. They don't purchase properly as they buy from vendors who are their friends regardless of price, they hire people who are in many cases not qualified but are friends or a relative of someone in the ditrict and on and on and on. The sad part is that it will never change. It is just the system that is in place and it is run that way in all of the school districts I have ever been involved with. Trust me, it isn't about the kids! Don't let them make you think it is! It is a very broken system and you can keep throwing million and millions at it and things won't improve, and they will keep putting there hands out for more! Unless you have nothing better to do with your money, just say no!!!!!!!!
revenant7
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February 13, 2014
"you can keep throwing million and millions at it and things won't improve"

Have you even seen what they've been able to do for the Tracy High campus?
victor_jm
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February 14, 2014
Sero7,

You say the school system is "broken." Would you also say our prevailing metro-culture is broken?
tracyresdnt
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February 13, 2014
Ridiculous. Work with what you have. There is already a laundry list of bonds that show up on my property tax bill. I don't want another that's going to add up to thousands of dollars over the decades it takes to pay tomorrow for your hamburger today.
revenant7
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February 13, 2014
That's just the problem. They have used the previous bonds to great effect, but they're gone, and now need more funds to say, renovate the elementary school built in the 1950's over on Mt. Diablo Rd.


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