California school proposes $4 million bond issue

A bond issue for the California R-I School District is on the April 8 ballot. Proposition CSI California (Citizens for School Improvement) is the name of the $4 million bond issue. Local supporters of the improvements planned for the bond issue funds have been working hard to get the word out. Some of the supporters, organized as Citizens for School Improvement (CSI), have been active informing the voters of the plans via mailings, meetings, presentations before organizations, personal contact and placing support signs all over the city.

The information has been presented using pie charts, displays and a video which includes a “walk-through” of the proposed facilities. The video may be accessed via the school web site - www.californiak12.org.

The plans for the funds to be realized from the general obligation bonds will be used for improvement of the school facilities (including doubling the size of the agriculture building, paving the parking lot south of the auditorium and remodeling several of the elementary school restrooms), making the buildings more energy efficient (including new energy efficient windows, lighting upgrades and heating and air conditioning improvements and modernization at the elementary and middle schools) and athletic facility improvements (including a synthetic turf football field and bleachers) in the area of the practice football field at the high school. “It’s a comprehensive facility improvement plan that will benefit our schools, students, staff and community for years to come,” said School Superintendent Dwight Sanders

According to Sanders, the tax levy rate of 97.56 cents per each $100 of assessed valuation for debt repayment will not increase. The current levy would be increased by six years, but the amount would not increase. He explained the meaning of a general obligation bond as a legal means through which the district can borrow money from the private sector with voter approval. Interest paid to the investors is exempt from federal and state income taxes. They are sold in $5,000 increments.

The district improvements portion of the facility improvement plan is 44 percent, the “Performance Contracting” or energy efficiency improvements is 20 percent and the athletic improvements portion is 36 percent. The district improvements portion of the funds would pay for:

• High school, a 5,000 square foot addition to the agriculture building; a 5,500 square foot multi-purpose addition for a visitors’ locker room, storage and additional classroom space for the physical education program to the weight room; paving the parking lot on the south side of the building; and adding air conditioning units to the gym to more adequately meet the needs of the space.

• Middle school, the improvements are renovation of the boys and girls locker rooms.

• Elementary school, the improvements planned are: renovation of two sets of restrooms; installation of an intercom system; and a covered shelter at the bus drop off/ pickup area.

• District-wide; installation of building security and safety systems at the main entry doors of each building are planned. Also planned are card readers for some additional doors, upgrades of the district’s network infrastructure and an up-to-date intercom system.

The Performance Contract planned as a part of the facility improvement plan is for work which is expected to pay for itself through savings in 15 years with energy and operations/ maintenance cost savings. Included are:

• Building automation systems, lighting upgrades, motion sensors.

• Replacement of single pane windows at the middle school.

• Upgrades in the HVAC systems at both the elementary and middle schools. The athletic improvements are:

• A new athletic stadium at the high school with synthetic turf field, lights and bleachers.

• Also planned are a press box, concession/ restroom building and entrance/ ticket booth.

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