Oceanside schools propose $30 million bond

Board will vote on Dec. 17


Oceanside Superintendent Phyllis Harrington is a woman with a mission: to garner the support of her community for a $30 million bond that was proposed on Nov. 19 and will come before the school board for a vote on Dec. 17.

“This is an exciting opportunity to take advantage of the present fiscal situation to address our obvious areas of need — technology, security, energy conservation and infrastructure — and I am looking forward to working in the community to garner support for the bond.

The Oceanside board of education at its meeting on Nov. 19 proposed a 15-year, $30 million bond referendum that, school officials say, would cost the average household in the community about $9.13 per month — $109.58 per year over the life of the bond.

The board will vote on the proposal at its Dec. 17 meeting and the anticipated date of the taxpayer vote is Feb. 11, 2014.

The security upgrades, which are planned for every building in the district, include exterior and interior cameras, access controls, panic alarms, strobes and public address system interlocks.

The technology upgrades will include wireless access ports at the high school to allow for the iPad initiative to move to that building in coming years and technology upgrades for each of the elementary schools as well.

Some of the money will be used for green energy improvement.

Those will include replacement of existing lighting with new T5 fluorescent and LED lighting. The new lighting will be introduced on a priority basis, officials say. In addition, there will be occupancy sensors that will shut the lighting off in a space that is not occupied. Solar panels will be installed on district roofs. Officials say that the security upgrades will cost $2.66 million, the technology upgrades, $1 million, the conservation measures, $3.85 million and the infrastructure renovations, $22.48 million.

District administration officials say that the facilities are in need of significant repairs and upgrades. Funding capital projects under the tax cap is no longer an option, they say and attempting to fund the upgrades through tax levy money would cost “significant” cuts to the educational program.

They add that spreading the cost over the 15-year life of the bond will allow them to proceed in a systematic way to so what is necessary to bring the district up to snuff.