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School board signs off on project list for $270-million bond measure planned for Nov. 8 election

New bond would fund new elementary school, provide funds for new science labs

The Pleasanton school board has agreed to a list of priorities for placing a $270-million general obligation bond measure on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot that will include $35-million for a new elementary school.

The final decision on the the bond measure resolution will be voted on at a special Saturday morning meeting July 30.

The district has until Aug. 12 to supply the Alameda County Registrar with completed documents in order to qualify the bond for the Nov. 8 election.

The board's agreement last Thursday came at the end of a four-hour-long meeting that often was a debate among the five board members as to how much of a bond voters might approve and what specific projects need to be funded at this time

Proposals started with bonds of $312 million, $281 million or $234 million. At Thursday's meeting, they settled on the $270 million figure.

The bond measure will require a tax of $49 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for Pleasanton property owners. School staff pointed out that assessed valuation is different from market values and, because of Proposition 13, many properties have assessed valuations far below recently acquired properties where the assessments are closer to market values.

Bond measures do not include any exemptions for seniors, as is often the case with parcel taxes.

"The Pleasanton trustees had an extremely thoughtful discussion and ultimately achieved consensus on the project list while simultaneously representing the diverse interests of the constituencies in the greater community," said school superintendent Rick Rubino, who took over the superintendent's position July 1.

Thursday's board meeting was his first in the district.

The preliminary project list includes modernizations, renovations and replacement of existing school facilities, including a complete re-build of classrooms and buildings at Lydiksen Elementary to replace old modular buildings.

In an effort to address current enrollment where some schools exceed recommended limits and possible enrollment growth, the board voted to include $35 million to build a new elementary school.

The Board also made a strong commitment to supporting "21st century" learning environments in Pleasanton schools by including $15 million to provide state of the art technology in classrooms for students and teachers.

Also on the preliminary list is the addition of new science labs at all Pleasanton middle and high schools with more than $30 million in funding allocated to complete the projects.

The board also took action on district recommendations to install solar structures at Pleasanton schools, which school staff said would reap significant ongoing energy cost savings to schools and Pleasanton taxpayers.

With the preliminary project list unanimously approved, the board will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. July 30 to vote on a resolution to place a general obligation bond on the ballot for the November 8 General Election.

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