By Robert Haugh
Tonight’s Santa Clara Unified School District Board meeting is one we’ll be watching closely. The school district hasn’t been in the spotlight recently. In fact, it has received very little media coverage.
At tonight’s meeting, SCUSD staff will present a “facility needs summary,” as well as a bond projects update.
A proposed bond measure of up to $875 million, funded by a parcel tax could appear on a ballot soon. It’ll be the third bond measure in the last eight years for the District. The District issued:
- a $419 million bond in 2014,
- an $81.1 million bond in 2010, and
- a $315 million bond in 2004.
So, the district has raised over $815 million since 2004. And they want to more than double that this year. Why?
Here’s one reason: the expansion of the Agnews High School could incur $250 million according to the report. When ground broke on the Agnews campus, the campus was originally scheduled to open in Fall 2019. Current needs state that the Agnews campus needs to expand from a 400-student high school to a “comprehensive” high school for 1,600 students, including an aquatic center, stadium, fields, gymnasiums and a performing arts center.
Here’s another reason: over $100 million is required for completion of projects initiated with 2014 Measure H bond funds. Does that mean that the district could not complete their projects on time and on budget?
We’ve been hearing some grumbling in the community about the constant need to come to voters for more funding. We’ll keep our eye on the School Board’s actions and the details about the bond measure as it moves forward. And here’s hoping the Agnews campus opens earlier than the current estimates.
Editor’s Note: School Board meetings are still not streamed online. Only audio recordings of meetings are archived by SCUSD and are not available immediately after meetings.