Sulphur Springs to consider $78M bond measure

Sulphur Springs Union School District administrative offices.
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The Sulphur Springs Union School District board of trustees is scheduled Tuesday to consider the authorization of a $78 million bond measure to be placed on the March 2020 ballot.

The bond measure, according to district officials, stems from both the need to improve school facilities, as well as prepare for a future influx of students once current housing developments are completed.

The bond measure funding will go to support a variety of projects that are listed on the “bond project list, which need to be supported,” according to SSUSD Superintendent Catherine Kawaguchi.

“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 Kawaguchi. “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.”

“Plus, we have … future developments coming into our area, which we’re very fortunate about,” said Kawaguchi. “And so we are, of course, needing additional funding to support construction of new classrooms on our existing (school sites).”

The future developments will bring an increase in enrollment, which will put a larger burden on the current facilities.

This bond comes after voters approved Measure CK, a similar SSUSD bond measure for $72 million, on June 5, 2012, in order to fund facilities projects.

“That was a $72 million bond, and that measure did exactly what it needed to. But there’s never enough money to do it all, and there’s a need to go out for another bond to continue the projects,” said Kawaguchi. “We have aging facilities, and the state does not fund districts to what they need to be on the funding to support facilities.”

Ensuring the district maintains its classrooms and schools while accommodating for a growing population would require a balancing act, Kawaguchi said.

“We really want to do what’s great for our children and we know our community wants to do the same,” said Kawaguchi.

The board of trustees is expected to consider the measure during the board meeting beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Pinetree Community School, 29156 Lotusgarden Drive.

If the bond measure resolution is approved, board members are expected to put the bond up for vote in the March 3, 2020, election.

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