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SSUSD approves $72M bond measure

Sulphur Springs Union School District administrative offices.

In a 5-0 vote held Wednesday at Pinetree Community School, the Sulphur Springs Union School District governing board decided to place a $72 million bond measure on the March ballot.

The measure’s cost per household would be based on assessed property valuation. In order to be enacted, the measure must pass with a 55% vote.

“There are so many reasons for good schools,” said board President Denis DeFigueiredo. “We look at the whole student and we provide things that make the student able to participate in the 21st century.”

The bond comes on the heels of Measure CK, a bond measure the district’s voters approved in 2012, also for $72 million.

“When CK was passed, we made a promise to the community that we would not get to a level of debt that we had been at before,” said DeFigueiredo. “Even with the additional tax implications of a new bond, we will still be below that. We’re keeping our promise to the taxpayers and we’re asking them to continue to support us in making our schools great.”

The bond measure, according to officials, will go to a variety of projects needed by the school district, including new facilities, parking lots, roofs and more.

“We of course strive to continue to do a great job with our facilities, but we have aging facilities, and we have some buildings that are 20 to 30 years old,” said Superintendent Catherine Kawaguchi earlier this week. “They need to be modernized and also a lot of paving work, parking lots, playgrounds, surfacing … just like a house — you know, after 20 or 30 years, you need to give it a facelift. That’s really what we also need.”

“Even if you don’t have a child, a grandchild in the schools, you are a beneficiary of excellent schools in that the value of your home goes up,” said DeFigueiredo.

During the meeting, board member Shelley Weinstein spoke about the bond measure, also noting the importance of having good facilities available for current students as well as having them ready for when the new students begin to attend once new housing developments are completed in the near future.

“Where there’s options for other moneys from the state, we’re the first in line, or if there’s any other options for money … through grants and those kinds of things,” said the board president. “We’re not looking for more money than we need. We’ve looked at what our needs based on a facilities plan that has been (part) of our district for a few years now.”

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