BENICIA -- City officials on Thursday voiced support for the school district's proposed $49.6 million bond measure to fix aging classrooms.
The topic came up at the City Council/School Board Liaison Committee's quarterly meeting at the Benicia Community Center.
"I think obviously this is important to the whole community and important to the city (government), too," City Manager Brad Kilger said.
Kilger told Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Janice Adams he'd like the city to look into partnering with the district -- if possible -- to help the measure succeed. Councilman Mark Hughes, who supports the bond measure, asked how the district is going to reach out to voters who may be skeptical of approving a tax on themselves.
"I've seen it over the years," said Hughes, whose daughter teaches at Joe Henderson Elementary School. "Anytime you're asking people to even donate money, they want to know what specifically it is going for."
Hughes added that he supports the bond not because his daughter is a teacher but because he views the measure as an investment in the community. Adams said voter materials are being created and the district is in the process of handing off the campaign to an outside committee of teachers and parents.
The school board voted last month to place the measure on the June 3 ballot. Because it's a general obligation bond, it will require at least a 55 percent majority approval to pass. If it passes, the measure would cost residents an estimated $39 per $100,000 of assessed valuation per year -- or about $3.25 per month, district officials said.
The money would be used for facility upgrades, including modernizing classrooms and bathrooms, replacing leaky roofs, upgrading athletic fields for school and community use and improving student access to computers and modern technology, according to the district.
It's been 17 years since the district passed a school improvement measure. Funds from that measure were used to expand the high school, reduce student overcrowding and renovate schools throughout the district, officials said.
Three district parcel tax measures in recent years have failed to meet the two-thirds threshold needed to pass.