Trustees of the Ripon Unified School District are again looking to turn to the voters.
This time, they’re hoping to pass a $38.5 million bond measure specifically for district-wide school facilities improvements.
The plan calls for Proposition 39 to be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot requires a 55 percent ‘yes’ votes.
Many of the facilities in RUSD have been around for over 50 years. District officials praised staff for doing a great job on upkeep and maintenance of these schools but major improvements are beyond the maintenance budget.
Superintendent Siegrid ‘Ziggy’ Robeson, in her report to the school board on Monday, said the restrooms at Ripon Elementary School are outdated and need to be renovated.
That’s just one of eight items listed for Prop. 39.
“Ripona needs to be one of our top priorities,” Trustee Kit Oase added.
Ripona Elementary School, according to the list, has portable classrooms in need of replacing. Prop. 39 could pave the way for permanent classrooms coupled with the modernizing of the existing facilities and the replacing of roofs.
Prop. 39 also includes:
Modernizing and improving the student facilities at Ripon High, in particular, replacing the outdated portable classrooms with permanent structures.
Building a science lab at RHS along with modernizing and reconfiguring the career technical education facilities and the classrooms in the agricultural department.
Completing the renovation efforts at Stouffer Field with new restrooms in front of the RHS stadium.
Improving student safety and security at all schools with fencing, cameras and updated safety hardware and access to buildings.
Acquiring land while providing additional classrooms to enable the district to maintain small class sizes at the school sites.
Modernizing and replacing classrooms to improve the learning environments while better preparing students for college not to mention well-paying jobs upon graduation.
Each of the aforementioned projects were based on an initial review of the district’s need and could be subject to change.
“We had a list and took a poll on what we can handle,” board President Chad Huskey said.
A preliminary poll was conducted in December, indicating that a majority of the community would support the proposed bond measure.
Consultant John Greenlee of Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. noted that the estimated tax rate for Prop. 39, if passed, would be $36 per $100,000 of the assessed evaluation.
“We would only issue the bonds as long as we could maintain the $36 tax rate,” he said.
Measure G was approved by voters in 2012, making possible the reconstruction of both Weston Elementary School and Colony Oak Elementary School.
The work at Colony Oak is scheduled to be completed in September.
RUSD is currently in line to receive about $6.3 million in State Aid reimbursements from the Weston reconstruction project, which, in turn, will go towards the funding of Colony Oak.
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