Antioch voters rejected a bond measure to fund repairs to Antioch High School according to Wednesday morning results.

With all 7,200 votes counted, 53.5 percent of voters favored Measure J, a $59.5 million school bond measure that would have paid to renovate the 58-year-old well-worn high school.

The property tax measure needed 55 percent of the vote to pass.

Antioch High is the oldest school in the county that has not been fully renovated, Principal Louie Rocha said. Some improvements were made to the school's ventilation units and auditorium as part of a bond measure passed in 2008, but Alhambra, Pittsburg and Liberty high schools have all received complete makeovers. About 10 percent of the bond proceeds would have gone to improving other school campuses in the older section of town.

Proponents of the measure argued that students at the school deserved to have improved amenities and that the school's current condition puts students at a disadvantage. Opponents largely agreed that the school needs improvement, but argued taxpayers are overextended with other personal costs at this time.

Needs identified at Antioch High include new and reconfigured classrooms that better suit the school's aim to create learning groups; repairs to hallways and other aging structures; a new library and media center; and renovated sports facilities, including a new pool, track and locker rooms.

The school's cafeteria also cannot hold all of its students, especially during poor weather, which forces students to eat in hallways.


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About 10 percent of Measure J funds would also have gone to improving several middle and elementary school campuses in the area.

Taxpayers in the area, identified as School Facilities Improvement District 1, already pay about $50 for every $100,000 of assessed value because of Measure C, the bond approved by voters in 2008.

Had the measure passed, tax bills to retire school bonds would have doubled from about $50 to about $102, reaching about $125 by 2026. For a home assessed at the current average of $141,500, that would have been $177 a year.