Board seeks bond measure in 2020

Bond would be between $243-$280M

Morgan Hill Unified School District’s board of education wants to ask voters to help fund future facility upgrades with a new bond measure in 2020, according to Board President Mary Patterson.

“Facilities Master Plan and the needs of students and staff continue to guide us as we see ongoing requirements to replace outdated learning spaces and to upgrade technology and infrastructure across the district,” said Patterson when asked about the possibility of floating a new bond measure to taxpayers.

Superintendent Steve Betando also told those attending the April 4 Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Breakfast about the school board’s intentions after the idea was brought up during a Facilities Master Plan discussion at the April 2 board meeting.

Two options, outlined in an April 2 staff report, for a bond on the 2020 election ballot are:

• A $243.5 million bond with four issuances of about $61 million every two years and a repayment period of 30 years at 5.23 percent interest rate. The average annual tax rate for property owners would be $52.19 per $100,000 assessed property value; or

• A $280.5 million bond with four issuances of about $70 million every three years and a repayment period of 30 years at 5.20 interest rate. The average annual tax rate for property owners would be $52.61 per $100,000 assessed property value.

“Staff will bring more specific funding proposals to the board soon for consideration,” Patterson added.

The district has allocated much of the $198 million in bond money from the Measure G general obligation bond. Local voters approved Measure G in November 2012 with a 64 percent vote. The money was designated to be used for capital improvements and is controlled by the school district and not the state or federal government.

The first $55 million (called Series A) went to projects at school sites throughout the district, including work at the Loritta Bonfante Johnson Education Center on Tilton Avenue, San Martin/Gwinn Environmental Science Academy and Paradise Valley Engineering Academy.

Of Series B’s $80 million issuance, nearly $50 million went toward the construction of a new Britton Middle School, which is in the first phase of construction on Monterey Road just north of downtown. Those Series B funds will be paid back in installments over the next 30 years totalling $144,284,492 by 2047.

A Series C bond issuance of $63,250,000 (the final of the Measure G monies) is scheduled for 2020. The project list for Series C (which will be done between 2022-2025) include $10 million each for Career Technical Education at Sobrato and Live Oak High Schools; $7 million for kindergarten/early childhood education; and $7 million for safety/security measures.

“Staff recommends that, in order to continue funding the facilities needs identified in the 2017 Facilities Master Plan, the board move forward planning for a 2020 Bond,” said the district’s director of construction and modernization, Casino Fajaro, in his April 2 report. “If the board concurs with staff’s recommendation, staff will begin initial outreach and return with any consultant agreements and analysis as needed for the 2020 Bond for board consideration.”

The 2017 Facilities Master Plan identified nearly $700 million in program needs. That figure jumps to $867 million by 2020, according to the staff report.

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