School district could float $100 million-plus bond

An architect's rendering of Christopher High School - to open

School district trustees could ask residents to approve a $100
million-plus bond in the Nov. 2008 election.
School district trustees could ask residents to approve a $100 million-plus bond in the Nov. 2008 election.

At a study session Thursday night, Gilroy Unified School District trustees considered three scenarios for floating a bond, which could range from $107 to $125 million, according to district documents. The bond would increase the amount that homeowners pay per $100,000 of assessed value on their home by about $60 each year starting in 2011.

Currently, homeowners pay about $71 each year per $100,000 of assessed home value toward Measure J – passed in 1992 – which will sunset in 2011, according to district documents. Because this more expensive bond would end the same year the new bond would begin, homeowners would actually see a decrease in property tax of about $11 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Trustees did not specify what projects bond funds would be earmarked for. However, at previous board meetings, trustees and district administrators expressed that top facilities projects included the second phase of Christopher High School, expanding and modernizing Rucker Elementary School, and building a new elementary school.

The school district has come under fire from some parents and residents because a previous bond was intended to cover the second phase of the high school, but will not. Rising costs of construction and materials have caused projects to be more costly than was estimated when the bond was floated, administrators have said.

Still, this could mean that the school district will have an uphill battle in trying to convince residents to approve the bond, trustee Denise Apuzzo said.

“We have such a credibility issue,” she said. “We are really jumping the gun on this.”

More information on the bond and on trustees’ reactions to it will be posted online later today and will be published in Tuesday’s Dispatch.

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