RIPON — Kit Oase is convinced there is no better time than now to invest in schools.
Oase believes competitive construction bids coupled with expected saving in reduced energy and maintenance costs by replacing portable classrooms at the Weston and Colony Oak elementary campuses will give taxpayers more bang for the dollar.
And just as important is the ability to pay off debt connected with the school farm and future site for a high school on Clinton South Avenue. That would use money borrowed at a lower interest rate to pay off remaining debt on the land purchase to save taxpayers $6 million. The money saved, in turn, can be spent on retaining qualified teachers and protecting the quality of classroom instruction.
That in a nutshell is the case that Oase - as both a Ripon Union School District board member and chair of the committee advocating passage of Measure G - is making to try and garner support for the Nov. 6 bond measure. There is no organized opposition to the $25.3 million bond measure.
Ripon’s last school bond - Measure J - passed in 2002 resulted in major renovations at Ripon High and paid for part of the Park View School campus that was wedded with funds generated from growth and state money.
The Measure G bond will cost $8.25 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year. That - when combined with prior bond election tax rates - will take the annual cost per $100,000 of assessed valuation to $57.65 per $100,000.
The measure also has been design to complete what is promised - replacing all aging and deteriorating portables at both schools with permanent classrooms plus adding science labs and libraries at each campus. Should the state for some reason not being able to provide all of the $8 million match in construction grants, the projects as outlined can still be completed.
Superintendent Louise Johnson noted passage would assure the existing school needs serving established neighborhoods would be addressed.
The campuses after constriction is finished for the most part would be similar to classrooms at Park View School and wired for the latest technology. The only buildings not being replaced doing the two elementary sites are the multipurpose rooms and administrative offices.