Measure G asks voters to support renovation and modernization at LUSD

Trinity Wicklund, Secretary, Page Editor

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 On November 6, voters will head to the polls to vote for midterm offices and issues.   Those living within the  Linden Unified School District will also decided the fate of our district’s latest facilities bond initiative, Measure G.  The last time the voters approved a facilities bond was in 2002. 

Superintendent Rick Hall explains, “Measure G is a facilities bond initiative that is asking the community’s homeowners because that’s who ultimately pays the bill, to pass a bond to improve our school facilities.” 

The bond itself is worth 31.2 million dollars. If Measure G is passed and the bonds themselves are sold, debt services will be payable from  tax levies made upon the taxable property within the district. It’s for facilities because you can only pass a bond for construction and modernization type projects; it can’t be used to pay teachers or administrators.  

Every year the board looks for needs and this past year they went for a more comprehensive needs assessment for more long-term planning.

“The needs are so great regular funding isn’t sufficient to cover it.” says LHS Principal Richard Schmidig.

The board found $167 million dollars in facility needs, which led to them deciding that we needed to attempt to pass the bond to pay for the facilities.

“We felt that passing a bond to do it on a larger scale would allow us to get these things done in a timely manner.” says Hall.

The existing bond we pay property taxes on was passed in 2002.  It was used to build some of the newest structures on campus such as the Performing Arts Center, the Molini Library, and all of the Multi-Purpose Rooms district wide.  The current tax on it is $30 a year and will be completely paid off in 2026. This bond cannot be paid off by any other means than property taxes. The district cannot attempt to pay that off before passing another bond.  The existing bond price will continue to be paid along with the price of the new bond if it passes. The new bond, Measure G,  if passed will add a tax of no more than $60 per $100,000 of assessed (not marketed) value, to be paid yearly as a part of property tax until the year 2052 in which the final taxes will be collected to completely pay off the bond.      

For the past year a community committee has been working on getting this bond passed.  They have gone door to door speaking with people, and they have been putting up posters and signs everywhere.  The committee has also added informational articles and documents onto our LUSD  website that explains in more detail what the bond is and what specific things they are looking at to fix.  

The district conducted a survey and the results were very positive. Most recently, they sent out a flyer to all the addresses in town that briefly explains what Measure G is.  Committee members will continue working hard to get the word out through election day.

Girls Locker Room Bathroom

The first project addressed district-wide will be security.  All of our systems are outdated and most fences are only four ft tall.  If the bond is passed this  Tuesday,  the district will begin updating the security and building new fencing.  They will also be updating all of the bathrooms to make them ADA Compliant which means they will be making them accessible to those with disabilities. The bathrooms have been needing repairs for a while.    

 

“We have 20th century bathrooms, but we have 21st century technology.” say Hall.

Girls H-Wing Bathroom

The bathrooms and the security are the first priority improvements that will be put into action immediately.

Once the Bathrooms and the security are addressed they will begin working on some of the other structures that need updating such as the playgrounds on the Linden El., Glenwood, and Waverly campuses and the lighting of the football field and the softball complex.  They would also like to improve the fields themselves; they want to add an all weather track, and maybe a field as well.

I think there’s nothing but upside and excitement for the improvements to our athletic facilities,” says Cross Country Coach, Hans Fry. “Personally, I think that our programs have been held back by lack of resources and ability to repair fields and perform to our best ability on subpar fields. If Measure G passes, there is nothing but good that can come from it.  Our students will want to be on the field more and our quality of play will increase.” 

LHS Track and Field

On top of these projects they will be looking at many other facilities that may need updating, but the Measure G Citizen’s Oversight Committee, a committee made up of community representatives will oversee the use of bond funds.

Recently, a vocal effort opposing Measure G, has also been active expressing their opinions.  A flyer sent to those living in the District made claims that are not untrue, but are out of context, according to Superintendent Hall.

The group, calling themselves Citizens for Better Education, is not registered with the registrar of voters which according to Hall makes the mailing in violation of election rules.  The Measure G committee’s investigation into the matter found that they were mailed out of Modesto.  Lion’s Roar journalists attempted to find out the identities of those in this group but was unable to do so. We also were unable to find anyone planning to vote “no” who would go on the record for this article.

If you want to have a say, come on out and vote at any of our local polling sites, such as the Molini Library at Linden High School or the First Baptist Church on Highway 26.  For more information on Measure G,  visit the Linden Unified School District website.

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