By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
At a time when money is short and projects are long, the Garden Grove Unified School District can now look forward to a group effort to fix its plumbing. And windows. And central air. And outlets.
All of this will be determined in the future as the stages of Measure A, the local education bond, unfold.The measure put forth by the school board in last Tuesday’s election is for $250 million in school bonds to be matched by $200 million in state funds to update schools across the district was passed handily.
If GGUSD can get an assurance of match from the state there may be more than $450 million to go into projects. However, there will not be action unless that match is secured.
“We’re still in the process of applying,” said Sue McCann, assistant superintendent of business, “There’s a lot of procedural things that need to take place.”
McCann said that there would not be actual repair work seen in the next year and that there are many steps that need to be covered in order to get to that point.
This voter approval, however, is just one step in many that will follow over the next few years in order to maintain and upgrade GGUSD education facilities.
The final numbers came in with 15,435 votes yes, at 62.70 percent, and with 9,184 votes for no, at 37.30 percent. At least 55 percent of voters had to approve in order for the bond issue to pass.
“The voters in the school district made the choice,” said Board of Education President Bob Harden. “They decided Measure A was an important tool in helping modernize our schools. Measure A will make a real difference for the community by providing a boost to local employment and improving the quality of our facilities, which helps preserve neighborhood property values.”
Harden also said, “It is now the job of the board of education to maximize the return on the taxpayers’ investment by managing this money responsibly.”
The next stage of the bond measure, according to GGUSD Public Information Officer Alan Trudell, will be to begin the bond sale through multiple resolutions that will take place over the next several months by the Board of Education.
“The district also be finalizing architectural plans with the Department of the State Architect, as well,” said Trudell, “The district will also be submitting documentation so it can secure modernization [state matching] funds. We will also need to secure a bond rating from the major ratings firms, such as Moody’s and Standard and Poors. Next, the bonds will be sold in three increments: $130 later this year, $60 million in 2013 and $60 in 2016.”
Measure A is a bond to finance improvements and modernization. Modernization includes large-scale improvements such as renovating electrical circuitry, plumbing, lighting, roofing, intercom and fire safety systems.
It also covers improving energy efficiency by replacing doors, windows and outdated heating and ventilation systems.
In addition the bond can be used to update playground safety matting, upgrading telecommunications systems to accommodate current technology, replacing restroom and drinking fountain fixtures and retrofitting schools for better accessibility for the disabled.
According to information from Trudell, bond revenue may only be directed for school facility improvements such as repair and modernization projects, new construction, land acquisition, and furniture and equipment.
It cannot be used for teacher and administrator salaries or operating expenses unrelated to the bond measure.
Superintendent Laura Schwalm said, “This funding will make an important contribution in our efforts to renovate our classrooms and infrastructure and provide safer, more modern facilities for current and future generations of students.”