music in the park san jose

The San Juan-Aromas Unified School District Board of Trustees
voted to pass a whopping $23.5 million property bond resolution
Thursday, which they hope will help fund a laundry list of
construction and renovation projects for all three schools in the
district should voters approve it this spring.
San Juan Bautista – The San Juan-Aromas Unified School District Board of Trustees voted to pass a whopping $23.5 million property bond resolution Thursday, which they hope will help fund a laundry list of construction and renovation projects for all three schools in the district should voters approve it this spring.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Superintendent Jackie Munoz. “I want to finish what we began and make sure that our students have facilities that are safe and conducive for learning.”

The resolution was approved by four trustees, with one abstention on the part of Jeff Hancock. The bond measure, which will go on the ballot as Measure N, is the successor to the 2002 bond Measure S, an $11 million bond which was finally depleted in early February that funded construction of a vocational education building at Anzar High School.

“We knew when we finished our first bond projects that we were nowhere near done upgrading our facilities,” Munoz said.

The proposed bond would cost the average tax payer about $59 for every $100,000 of assessed property value, and will mature in 25 years. If the bond passes, district officials are hopeful it will make additional funds available from the state in the form of matching contributions.

“If it would help the schools, I would vote for it,” said San Juan resident Gina Ginochio. “I think our schools need all the help we can give them.”

Should the bond pass its 55 percent required approval vote from both San Juan Bautista and Aromas voters, the district plans to accomplish over a dozen different projects throughout its jurisdiction.

Most notably, plans include construction of a new preschool at San Juan School and a new library/media center for Aromas School, whereas currently the library occupies a small classroom.

San Juan School will also have a new multi-purpose room constructed on its campus, and the kitchen will be renovated as well. Many old portable classrooms will be removed from the Aromas campus in favor of modern, permanent classrooms that will comply to standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act and feature modern heating and air conditioning. The area where school busses park to drop off and pick up children will also be widened for safety purposes.

“Aromas School was built in 1948,” Munoz said. “We did some renovations during phase one, but basically now we’ll be building a whole new school.”

In order to accommodate a growing number of students, several new classrooms will be built at Anzar High. The school will also be receiving a dining hall, offering an alternative for students who don’t particularly enjoy eating lunch in the cold or at their desks in a classroom. A central kitchen for the entire district will be built on Anzar grounds as well – currently, the central kitchen is situated at San Juan School, but is so old it is actually more cost-effective for the district to build a new one than to renovate. Anzar will also benefit from a new auditorium, to accommodate performing arts work and large-scale lectures.

“When you look at everything we’re able to accomplish, this is a good deal for everybody,” said John Ferreira, president of the board.

The bond also provides for formation of a citizen’s oversight committee, to ensure bond monies are spent exactly as was spelled out in the ballot measure.

“The measure has a built-in guarantee to the public,” Ferreira said. “We did exactly what we said we would do last time, and we were able to spend that money very effectively. I think people know they can trust us.”

Though as a public entity the district cannot campaign in earnest for the passage of the measure, officials are confidant that voters will support the district’s efforts.

“Historically our communities have been so generous to education,” Munoz said. “Good schools make good communities, and our voters know this. And keeping our school facilities in good order is a crucial part of that equation.”

Danielle Smith covers education for the Free Lance. Reach her at 637-5566, ext. 336 or [email protected]

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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