VACAVILLE — It was a done deal in a matter of minutes Thursday night.
With 100 percent backing from the Vacaville School District’s board of education, the city’s schools moved closer to a modernization makeover with a $194 million bond that will now appear on the November ballot.
“I think this is the most important vote we’re going to take (for) the rest of our time,” said Trustee Michael Kitzes, the board’s vice president. “This is going to really revamp the district in so many ways. It’s so important for Vacaville.”
Kitzes said that there are so few ways now for a school district to get money. His vote, he said, was an “emphatic yes.”
The district’s facilities director, Leigh Coop, agreed with Kitzes and said after the meeting, “There is no dedicated stream of revenue from the state.”
So, it’s up to the voters now.
Trustee Chris Flask said that what the board did Thursday night by voting the bond onto the ballot was giving “an opportunity for the public to speak.” He also spoke of the importance in getting the community behind the bond and said that without that support, the board’s vote was simply a vote to put something on a ballot.
Coop said after the meeting that the new bond measure could be likened to a second phase of Measure V, the $101 million facilities bond passed in 2001 that has $1 million left in its coffers.
“We always have continuing facilities needs,” she said.
When asked why the district asked for so much more than Measure V, Coop said that in addition to the current needs of the district, it was the effects of 13 years of rising costs.
“Inflation is a big thing,” she said.
When the process to determine the district’s facilities needs began, Coop said the list topped $400 million and by “cutting, cutting, cutting” they whittled it down to below $200 million. The effort was to make the list “prudent,” “cognizant” and “reasonable.”
If passed, bond proceeds will be used to “repair, modernize, replace, renovate, expand, construct, acquire, equip, furnish and otherwise improve the classrooms and school facilities of the district’s existing schools, new school sites, and other district-owned properties,” according to the school district’s bond project list report.
“The district’s goals are to provide equity among district schools so each student has similar facilities and educational opportunities,” the report also stated.
The broad and flexible list includes, but is not limited to:
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.