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Facilities Modernization Focus Of Proposed Bond
Bond Issue

Continuing to upgrade facilities and improving available technology, the Escalon Unified School District is planning to put another bond issue before the voters.

The bond will be on the Tuesday, Nov. 6 ballot.

“The bond is for 25 million,” said Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa. “The maximum impact for voters would be $30 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.”

Among the work efforts being proposed under the bond are improvements to the high school athletic facilities and facility improvements at a number of school sites.

The funding would help provide for a new stadium so the high school has a facility that is up to date and safe.

“Our track team has not had a home meet for two years due to deteriorating facilities,” Costa noted. “Our current stadium is over 60 years old and is out of compliance.”

Also part of the package is continued modernization work at school sites, with the latest bond including projects at El Portal, Van Allen, Collegeville and Farmington to provide “21st century learning environments” for students, said Costa.

“The last bond was approved in 2012 and was a $19.5 million bond. With that bond we were able to modernize EHS classrooms, the gym and the quad.” Costa explained. “We also were able to draw up the plans for the Dent modernization/new construction.”

Those plans are at the Division of the State Architect (DSA) for approval.

“We have $4 million remaining from our first bond, along with the $7.7 million the state owes us for their matching component, to use to fund the Dent project as soon as we have DSA approval,” Costa said.

Before the ballot goes before the community, Costa said there will be plenty of opportunities for residents to get information.

“A bond committee, made up of citizens, is being formed to give information to voters and to promote the bond. As we get closer to the election I am sure there will be info sessions for citizens,” said Costa.

The $25 million bond initiative is a 55 percent bond, requiring a 55 percent vote to pass.

If passed there will be a citizens bond oversight committee to ensure the bond funds are used appropriately, following a state requirement, said Costa.

Costa said school officials remain hopeful that voters will give a green light to the bond in November.

“The district made a commitment to cap the impact on the taxpayers on the 2012 bond and we have stayed below the committed cap,” he pointed out. “Since the last bond, the district installed solar panels which will cover 85 percent of our electricity usage. We have also upgraded our HVAC systems and reroofed the two main classroom buildings at El Portal.”

Work this summer, he added, includes redoing the quad area at El Portal and completing several projects around the district.

“With the continued support from the community, our school district will continue to improve our facilities so that our students are college and career ready,” Costa said.