SV school board seeks public input for new bond measure
by Joe Shreve
Dec 19, 2013 | 2800 views | 10 10 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Scotts Valley Middle School. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
Scotts Valley Middle School. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
slideshow
Scotts Valley Middle School. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
Scotts Valley Middle School. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
slideshow
Scotts Valley Middle School. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
Scotts Valley Middle School. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
slideshow
Members of the Scotts Valley Unified School District's Board of Trustees are moving forward with a plan to float a bond measure to the city's voters next year that they hope will result in the replacement of the aging buildings on the Scotts Valley Middle School campus.

“(The campus) needs to be rebuilt,” said Michael Shulman, a longtime board member. “Architectural engineering reports suggest that doing a little bit of remodeling here and there is not a wise investment.”

At the board's Tuesday, Dec. 10 meeting, the trustees voted to allot $15,500 to Gene Bregman and Associates, an Aptos-based public opinion and marketing research firm, to conduct a phone survey of 250 Scotts Valley residents to determine the public's awareness of the middle school campus' needs, as well as gauge the level of public support a bond measure could likely expect in an election.

“The goal of the survey is to find out what the community is willing to do and what they know,” Shulman said, adding that the surveys would take 18 minutes per person.

The results of the survey, he said, are expected by the end of January and will be used to determine what specific projects the measure will fund, how much will be asked for, and whether the measure will be on the June 2014 or November 2014 ballot.

District Superintendent Penny Weaver echoed the need for revamping the middle school campus, which has buildings dating back to before the outbreak of World War II.

“The middle school is the most critical at this time,” Weaver said. “The facility is lacking in terms of being a healthy and safe facility.”

Shulman said that the middle school campus, in addition to being in need of a seismic retrofitting, had structural, electrical, fire, and plumbing deficiencies that were identified by architects and engineers hired by the district.

Weaver said that one of the biggest issues on the campus is accessibility.

“There aren’t really many aspects at all of that campus that are (ADA compliant),” she said. “That’s a huge, huge concern.”

Scotts Valley voters have rejected two previous bond measures — Measure B in 2002 and Measure Q in 2008 — that respectively called for $44.2 million and $55 million for multiple construction projects district-wide, in addition to revamping the middle school.

“Those were larger in scope than what we're trying to do here,” Shulman said.

While no dollar amount has been attached to the cost of revamping the middle school, Shulman said that the cost of the project had been estimated to be approximately $30 million at the time Measure Q was taken for a vote in 2008.

While bond measures of this nature require a 55-percent majority vote to pass, Measure Q received 54.01 percent in June 2008.

In June 2012, Scotts Valley voters approved Measure K, which was a parcel tax designed to prevent projected layoffs of teachers and staff.

For more information on the survey, visit www.svusd.santacruz.k12.ca.us/boe/AgendaDec1013.htm



- To comment, email reporter Joe Shreve at joe@pressbanner.com, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.
Comments
(10)
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craigsf
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January 30, 2014
Another tax increase!! Just recently voters passed a state measure (prop 38) and a local measure (K) for schools to maintain programs, skills and staff. Measure K was sold to us as a "temporary 3 year tax" when indeed it will most likely remain in place after its expiration - only time will tell. It is time for administrators to be more fiscally responsible and not place the financial burden on the citizens when they are in need of money to upgrade local schools. Sixty dollars per 100k of assessed value could be a significant increase for a number of citizens. This measure was defeated in 2008 as measure Q and six yrs later it will be back on the ballot - when will it end. We as voters should not allow our taxes to be increased because it is easy and convenient for administrators - just say NO to another school tax!
Another opinion
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December 20, 2013
Replacing the middle school is long overdue. You don't have to be a seismic or environmental expert to see the unsafe conditions. I strongly agree w/ poster, SV Resident, this has to be a stand alone project that does not involve the HS. The "town leaders" that were/are responsible for that ongoing unfortunate situation need to somehow be kept out of this project.
Diane Davis
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December 26, 2013
The Scotts Valley Middle School replacement should be the only item on the bond measure! Adding a little bit for each school does not garner votes, it turns the voters away!

SV Resident
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December 20, 2013
I will support the bond measure if the high school is left out of this. That school is 10-11 years old and has already had major repairs(gym, rebuilding of non compliant handicap features). Before you decide not to support this measure, walk through the middle school grounds and see what these kids are using to turn in the awesome academic results that in turn power our home values. Its broken beyond repair and a danger to students and staff, please lend your support, the kids and teachers deserve better.

Sv Parent
Big Paco
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December 20, 2013
I have walked through the school. My wife and kids went there and got a very good education. Your point is noted however it just shows the people of SV that if you have good teachers and parents you don't have to have the best and most updated school to get a good education. We can't afford to continue to tax SV people because at one point they will move because they can't afford it. Drive to the other areas in calif. and see what their schools look like. They have new schools, bigger schools and they live in areas that are in rural areas. How are they doing it? Look to see how other parts are getting the funds to do it. Just taxing taxing and taxing will not work. i will not support another tax and i don't think other will either. "find another way"!!!!!!!!
Sv Resident
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December 21, 2013
Big Paco,

You're missing the point. This isn't about the quality of education at SVMS which is already very good. This is about the health and safety of the students and staff. Shouting "find me another way" from your couch does little to solve the problem of a leaky gym so full of holes that it's unusable in the winter and faulty electrical that poses hazards to students and staff. I also went to SVMS, and it was in bad shape when I was there. Other schools around the state are alloted larger budgets due to the size of student population and various other factors, also why our teachers are paid less here in Sv. The office of President of the Sv Chamber of Commerce is currently vacant, I look forward to your campaign and ideas of how to improve our community Big Paco.....
Big Paco
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December 20, 2013
Here we go again. MORE TAXES for Scotts Valley residents. NO! I know the school needs to be rebuilt but we can not afford to keep adding taxes to our residents. Find another way.

the 1st million
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December 20, 2013
The first million could be the easiest. According to a November 20th Sentinel article. The City council has been offered $1 million from developer Lennar Homes in exchange for the ability to demolish the dilapidated Polo Ranch barn on the north end of town in what was once Santa's Village.

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_24558896/scotts-valley-leaders-face-1m-question

The City Council has so far shown no signs of being so generous but wouldn't it be be amazing if the Council helped the SV Unified School District by proposing to the developer that they instead donate the money to our school system. I don't think the City Council is currently considering. Maybe they could use a little encouragement from the voters. If they negotiate a little, perhaps the developer would agree to a larger donation number.
Doctor doom
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December 23, 2013
The city can not give funds to the school district it's called gift of public funds nice try
Not a gift
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December 23, 2013
Dr. Doom,

There is no reason why the $1 million from Lennar Homes couldn't be given to the School District. The $1,000,000 was never part of the Lennar deal with the City in the first place. Lennar had a deal with the City that they would restore the Polo Ranch Barn in exchange for being allowed to build on the site. Lennar recently approched the City offering $1,000 for the City to drop the requirement. The City Council has the ability to alter the original deal and the city council is already considering a change to that previous plan. Since they are already considering relieving the developer of its obligation to rebuild the barn they could create any public good reason for the relief. I'd rather see the money spent on the middle school than I would for lighted street signs and I bet most of the people in SV would as well.


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