Friday, November 7, 2008

Acalanes voters pass district's largest bond measure ever

Despite a softening economy, voters in the Acalanes Union High School District approved its largest bond issue ever — $93 million — at the ballot box Tuesday, with more than 63 percent of those who cast ballots supporting the measure.

It required 55 percent approval to pass.

The measure will not raise taxes immediately. Instead, it will extend the current tax rate, which would have ended in 2025, until about 2042, depending on economic conditions.

"It shows once again that the communities of Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda really support public education," said Tom Mulvaney, an Acalanes governing board member who campaigned for the bond measure. "As we came up to the election date, the concern we did have was the overall state of the world economy and how it would impact us locally."

The district will be careful to monitor market conditions and get voters the most for their money despite troubles in the financial markets, Mulvaney said.

"We will be very prudent in how we move forward," he said.

The tax rate for the extra years, from 2025 to 2042, would be $20 to $30 per $100,000 of assessed value of a given property. That tax rate now is more than $30 per $100,000.

The biggest portion of the bond measure is $25 million to renovate the Del Valle campus, home to the district's adult education classes and Del Oro alternative high school.

Campolindo renovations make up $22 million of the bond Advertisementtotal. Built in 1961, Campolindo is the newest of the district's four traditional high schools and has gotten the least money for renovations from previous bond measures.

Each of the district's other three schools will receive about $12 million in renovations under the proposal, and renovations to the district office would cost about $4 million.

In 2002, the district passed a $44 million bond with 67 percent voter approval.

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