SAN RAMON VALLEY -- In the wake of a successful $99 million school bond measure passed by Dublin voters in June, the San Ramon Valley school board is hoping its voters will approve a $260 million school facilities bond measure in November.
On Tuesday, the San Ramon Valley school board approved a list of 45 school modernization projects that will be presented to voters later this summer, if the board votes to go forward with the bond measure.
The projects include seismic upgrades, upgrades to electrical and heating and air conditioning systems, technology infrastructure upgrades, security cameras, new classrooms, new stadium bleachers at San Ramon Valley and Monte Vista high schools and a new $31 million elementary school in Dougherty Valley.
A citizen's advisory committee drew up a $380 million wish list of 102 modernization projects for the schools. The board decided earlier this month to ask voters for $260 million to fund 45 priority projects, with the hope that more money will be available in the future for remaining projects through state matching funds or other means.
To pass, the measure needs 55 percent voter approval. The total cost to property owners is estimated at $20 to $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value, according to the district website.
San Ramon Valley voters have approved two bond measures in recent years to renovate schools -- a $70 million bond passed in 1998 that will be paid off in 2018, and
"What the bonds did was they brought some of the schools up to modern standards," said board President Greg Marvel. "The last bond was passed 10 years ago. We have a whole bunch of older schools that still need a lot of work."
The district has 35 schools. Eight of its schools in the Dougherty Valley were built in the past 15 years with developer funding. But others are much older, Marvel said.
"When you have schools that were built in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, you've got a lot of work to do," he said. "If we're going to maintain our schools, we need to modernize them for what's needed today and not 30 years ago."
Marvel said San Ramon Valley has some of the top performing schools in the state, yet it receives only $5,200 per student.
"There is no money in the way California funds its schools to modernize its schools unless you do it from a local facilities bond," Marvel said. "If the voters choose not to do it, that's fine, they've spoken. But that means the schools will begin to fall apart."
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.