Bond Funds will be used to Build and Improve School Facilities
SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (July 12, 2016) – On Tuesday, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) School Board approved adding a $98 million facilities bond measure to the November 2016 ballot. If voters approve this measure, the funds will be used for upgrades and repairs to education facilities as well as new construction.
“South Pasadena Unified is a strong District comprised of outstanding educators and amazing students,” said Julie Giulioni, president of the South Pasadena Unifed School Board. “SPUSD students deserve facilities that are safe, secure, and inspire their ability to learn 21st century skills. We need to repair and upgrade our infrastructure and aging facilities. And we have an opportunity to create new spaces that better meet student and instructional needs.”
A comprehensive facilities assessment recently completed by SPUSD revealed the need for health and safety improvements to buildings, repairs to heating and cooling systems, and replacement of aging roofs. The assessment explored opportunities to replace portable classrooms with permanent buildings, create new instructional spaces for visual and performing arts education, and modernize and preserve historical theaters and auditoriums.
“Our existing school facilities are well-maintained and highly functional, however certain instructional spaces and infrastructure are in need of significant attention,” said Dr. Geoff Yantz, superintendent. “This initiative ensures the District has the funding it needs to make facility upgrades and therefore to help maintain the quality of education in South Pasadena.”
Throughout the past several months, Dr. Yantz has held in-person meetings for parents, District staff and community members about the potential bond measure. Stakeholders shared their priorities for possible bond projects including state-of-the-art instructional spaces for science, technology, engineering and robotics as well as upgrade locker rooms, fields, courts, and playgrounds.
The District also completed voter surveys this spring, inquiring about the importance of upgrading school facilities. Quantitative and qualitative research show that South Pasadena voters overwhelmingly believe that maintaining and improving the quality of schools is very important. Voters place a high priority on basic repairs and upgrades to schools understanding that improvements like these are a wise investment for the future.
“The upgrades within existing buildings are necessary improvements,” added Yantz. “Increasing energy and water efficiency and creating more functional spaces lead to potential cost savings in the long run.”
California Proposition 39 restricts bond money from being used for district administrative and teacher salaries or other operating expenses.