Hollister district OKs facilities bond for the ballot

This sign was in front of the old courthouse in June 2014.

Trustees from the Hollister School District this week approved a resolution in a 4-0 vote that will place a $28.5 million school facilities bond on the Nov. 4 election ballot.
If approved by voters in November, the bond would chip away at a list of $150 million worth of renovation and capital improvement projects from the district’s Facilities Master Plan.
“I think there’s real excitement on the board to be moving forward,” said Superintendent Gary McIntire. “That was very clear, and certainly from my perspective, this is a great first step and we’ve got a lot ahead of us.”
Trustee Patricia Moore was absent from the meeting due to a pre-planned surgery and did not vote. Since only four of the board’s five trustees were present, all had to vote in favor of the resolution to give it the two-thirds of the board support needed to send it to ballot.
“The board took it as a real serious and important matter, and that somebody didn’t attend was not a spur-of-the-moment decision,” McIntire said. “It was something that just couldn’t be avoided.”
Although there is currently no prioritized project list to guide exactly how bond money would be dispersed to the various school sites, two contracts for architectural firms will be presented to the school trustees at the regularly scheduled board meeting July 22. Once hired, the firm’s first line of work would be to help trustees come up with a prioritized list of projects, McIntire said.
McIntire imagines modernizing the district’s oldest campus – R.O. Hardin – as priorities. Trustees will then have to decide between projects such as boosting security at Rancho and Sunnyslope by making structural changes to the sites so that the only entrance to the campuses is through the front office and replacing a number of portables that are “beyond useful life” at Sunnyslope, McIntire said.
To place the bond on the November ballot, the trustees must send a resolution to the county elections office and the county superintendent at least 88 days before the election, or by Aug. 8.
In November, at least 55 percent of the voters would have to be in favor of the measure for it to pass. If voters approve the bond, proceeds would be used exclusively for district facilities projects and could not be used for teacher salaries, administrative salaries or operating costs.

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