Education

Lucia Mar moving forward on November ballot measure

The peeling paint on the underside of this walkway overhang at Fairgrove Elementary in Grover Beach is one of the improvements needed at Lucia Mar schools.
The peeling paint on the underside of this walkway overhang at Fairgrove Elementary in Grover Beach is one of the improvements needed at Lucia Mar schools. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Lucia Mar district voters are one step closer to deciding whether they will support a $170 million bond measure on the Nov. 8 ballot to fund upgrades at South County schools.

Lucia Mar Unified School District trustees began drafting a general election ballot measure at their meeting Tuesday night, after considering the measure in April. The official wording of the measure will go before the board June 14, Superintendent Raynee Daley said.

The measure could raise about $170 million for South County schools through annual property tax assessments over five to seven years. Property owners would pay between $41 and $45 per $100,000 of assessed valuation each year, depending on the length of the measure. Researchers found 63 percent of voters polled were likely to vote in favor of a Lucia Mar bond measure this November, in a study conducted by True North Research, a survey firm out of Encinitas. A school bond measure needs 55 percent voter approval to pass.

The cost of all the district’s desired upgrades is approximately $167.7 million, according to a district staff report.

The majority of the funds would go toward modernizing campuses that were built in the 1950s or 1960s and haven’t received significant upgrades since then. The modernization would include new materials and technology for science labs, new desks and chairs that can be moved around for more dynamic discussions and other 21st century teaching techniques. Funds also may be used to replace modular classrooms with permanent buildings.

All 18 schools in the district have at least one large project that could be funded by the bonds.

The Lucia Mar district has had two successful bond measures in the past 20 years: a $24 million bond in 1997 to build Nipomo High School and a $21.35 million bond in 2004 to renovate Arroyo Grande High School.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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