Vacaville board votes to put $194M schools bond on upcoming ballot

By From page A1 | July 18, 2014

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:

  • Districtwide repair/replacement of existing deteriorating plumbing systems, including drainage, irrigation and sewer systems in schools.
  • A districtwide improvement of student access to computers and modern technology in schools.
  • A new stadium for Will C. Wood High School.
  • A two-story classroom building to replace portables at Vacaville High School.
  • Construct, upgrade and modernize athletic fields and facilities, including Zunino Stadium, gymnasium, track and tennis courts at Vacaville High School.
  • Repair and upgrade roofs, ceilings, walls and floors at the middle schools.
  • Repair/replace outdated and leaky roofs at the elementary schools.
  • Modernize and renovate Sierra Vista Elementary School and re-open the campus to reduce overcrowding.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.


Discussion | 12 comments

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  • ConcernedJuly 17, 2014 - 10:44 pm

    The reason that many of us have so little interest in supporting this Bond is because the Facilities Director is incompetent & will be a poor steward of the funds

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  • JazzAzzJuly 18, 2014 - 6:44 am

    They really think this has a chance of passing, BUUUUUUUUUUUWAH. Maybe if their salaries on the board are as outrageous as here in Fairfield (I don't know) they ought to begin by cutting themselves back first. Won't happen again down here, along with any OTHER NEW TAXES. The proponents of new bonds as this always state in the election booklet, that it will not raise your taxes, which is BULL dookie, since that bond's interest has to be paid from SOMEWHERE. Also how many, if anyway, consultants over any of this have they wasted money on??? Remember all that when voting people!!!!

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  • Salty DogJuly 18, 2014 - 6:45 am

    I have one question who will be paying for this bond if it were to pass. Is every one that pays taxes pay for this bond or will it only be those of us that own property.

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  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 7:05 am

    Almost surely it would be a property tax.

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  • JazzAzzJuly 18, 2014 - 7:10 am

    Which is paid for by all, owners AND renters. Think not renters??? Do you really think that your landlord is paying that tax bill on his/her own??? No way, is part of your rent.

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  • Salty DogJuly 18, 2014 - 7:45 am

    if it is only the property owners that have to pay for this bond then my guess is it will pass why because the uninformed renters of Vacaville will tell them self's they won't have to pay for it so they will voting for it and it will pass.

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  • JazzAzzJuly 18, 2014 - 7:50 am

    Read my LAST POST :-)

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  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 8:27 am

    The rationale, admittedly not perfect, is that the improvements increase property values. But no district would use parcel taxes anyway because it takes a 2/3 majority to pass them. GO bonds (property taxes) only require 55%.

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  • MarkJuly 18, 2014 - 11:16 am

    Look at your property tax bill everyone (well property owners in the VV School District). I checked mine and I'm paying for 7 different education related bonds. Not voting for an 8th.

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  • JimboJuly 18, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    A special bond to repair, replace, or upgrade things that they knew would have to be done all along. I think not. They should just at least be honest and call this a bond for a new sports stadium at Will C Wood. Which happens to also be less than a mile from another school sports stadium with a history of being poor neighbors because of noise from their P.A. being heard by homeowners a mile away.

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  • Bonds are TaxesJuly 18, 2014 - 6:59 pm

    This is how they will pay for the upgrades needed to support what has to be done for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The state CANNOT pay for it all and so the districts will have to come up with a way to do it themselves. Viola` bond measures. Look for the one the State will be adding to the ballot in November as well. The state can't afford the cost of implementing Common Core either so they will try to get us all to pay more for it. Because it is all for the kids ya know! We can't fire teachers ya know! Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! But we can for sure build a bullet train, darn tootin'!

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  • just sayin'July 18, 2014 - 8:28 pm

    How else is Obama going to educate all the illegals he is allowing in? Most of your current money is already spent on ESL programs while Americans suffer. VOTE NO. VOTE EVERYONE OUT OF OFFICE IF THEY SUPPORT THIS MESS

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