High school bond effort to continue

first_imgLANCASTER – Antelope Valley voters will be asked in June to pass a $177 million bond measure to expand and improve high schools and to build two new ones. The new bonds would annually cost property owners in the Antelope Valley Union High School District about $30 per $100,000 assessed valuation, which is slightly higher than what they already pay on a bond measure passed by voters in 2002. “We have some work to sell this,” trustee Al Beattie said. “I’m confident people will be happy with the results we have accomplished since the last bond (measure) was approved. I think most people do not want to see schools overcrowded. They realize the importance of having smaller campuses to get a better-quality education.” By the time construction starts, it is estimated that new high schools will cost $110 million to $120 million each. By contrast, Knight High School, which opened in 2003, cost about $76 million, and Eastside High, which is under construction, will cost about $100 million. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant District officials want to build one high school in southeast Palmdale and the other in northwest Lancaster or in southwest Palmdale’s Ritter Ranch master-planned community. State funds will cover about half the cost, and some money will come from fees on new homes. The high school board voted unanimously at Wednesday night’s meeting to place the bond measure on the June 6 ballot. District officials had initially considered putting it on the November ballot but decided against it because that is when voters will decide on state bond proposals to finance Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s massive public-works rebuilding project. School district officials will try to pass their measure under Proposition 39, which requires a 55 percent majority, rather than two-thirds. A district poll of 600 registered voters found 53 percent of the respondents supported and 39 percent opposed passage of a bond measure at the $30 tax rate, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent, Beattie said. “We need space for our kids. We are short of space for students. We just need to get caught up,” trustee Jim Lott said. “We are trying to make sure we have enough housing for the students. As of right now, we are running behind.” Besides building two more schools, the bonds also would pay for converting three classrooms into two science labs at Lancaster High School, adding classrooms and parking at Quartz Hill High School, completing the construction of Eastside High, upgrading lighting and handicapped accessibility at various schools and doing preliminary work for the district’s 11th comprehensive campus, officials said. On the June ballot, the high school bond measure could be listed beside elementary school bond measures in parts of the Antelope Valley. Lancaster and Westside Union school district officials are also considering bond measures for June, but have not made final decisions. If all three pass, Lancaster and Westside property owners would have to pay for the Antelope Valley Union High School District bond measure as well as their local elementary district bonds. The elementary school districts are within the high school district’s boundary. Money from the $103.6 million high school bond issue approved in March 2002 will be gone after construction of Eastside High, the district’s eighth comprehensive high school. Money from that measure also went toward building Knight High School, modernizing three high schools and constructing three alternative campuses. Beattie believes taxpayers are paying about $28 per $100,000 assessed valuation on the 2002 bond measure. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img