Antioch voters may soon be asked again if they are willing to pay to improve Antioch High School.
School trustees Wednesday night will consider placing a $56 million bond measure on the November ballot asking if voters in the older part of the East Contra Costa city would swallow an additional property tax to modernize the 58-year-old campus.
The arguments for Antioch High are the same as in June, when $59.5 million Measure J failed with 54.5 percent of the vote. It needed 55 percent for approval as would this measure.
This version of the bond measure is more concise. It would be for Antioch High only, instead of putting a small portion of the money toward other middle and elementary schools. Voter confusion was among the reasons trustees say Measure J's was narrowly defeated.
"We were so close. Just the feedback we got from the community after the election, it would almost be irresponsible if we waited two more years," board vice president Joy Motts said. "I think the statistics warrant us going forward with it. A lot of people thought it was like a given, and are now like 'Tell me what I need to do this time.'"
Opponents of Measure J have said they would be against any new initiative for the same reason, mainly that it creates another expense for folks struggling with living costs such as groceries, gasoline and utility bills.
Details about how much the property tax would cost taxpayers in the area, identified as
Few dispute there is a need at Antioch High.
The school's cafeteria is too small for students to all fit in when the weather is bad, its classrooms lack modern technology, its bathrooms leak, the pool has been empty for years and many classes are held in portables.
"It can't be ignored anymore. At some point, we're going to run into a critical problem," Motts said.
According to a district staff report, the bond would provide money for a larger cafeteria, renovated classrooms including science and computer labs, replacing inefficient building systems, a new library and media center, and renovated sports facilities, including a new pool, track and locker rooms.
The measure would require an independent citizens oversight committee.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.
What: Antioch Unified School District board meeting
When: 7 p.m.
Where: School Services building, 510 G St.
Info: 925-779-7500 or www.antioch.k12.ca.us