.PVUSD Trustees Approve $315M Bond to Fund Repairs, Upgrades

District facing $1.2 billion in unmet facilities needs

If Pajaro Valley Unified School District performed all the upgrades, repairs and construction projects that are needed at its 33 schools, it would cost more than $1.2 billion.

A large part of that estimate is $400 million to replace the district’s array of portable classrooms 

That’s according to a report by 19-6 Architects, a consultancy firm hired by the district to perform a needs assessment survey.

While that number is vastly out of reach, PVUSD officials are looking to prioritize the more urgent projects, and pay for them with a general obligation bond.

Toward that goal, the PVUSD Board of Trustees approved a $315 million bond to be placed on the ballot for the November presidential election, when it will require a two-thirds majority vote.

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The motion passed 6-0, with Trustee Oscar Soto absent.

If the bond passes muster at the voting booth, it would place $60 per $100,000 of assessed value on properties within the district. That number would drop to $30 per $100,000 after four years, said financial advisor Dale Scott, who also helped prepare the report.

Voters in 2012 approved Measure L, a $150 million bond which, after funding projects throughout the district, is coming to the end of its life, with most of the money spent. 

That bond has allowed for numerous projects such as the long-awaited sports complex at Pajaro Valley High School.

People living within the boundaries of PVUSD are still paying off that measure, in addition to Measure J, a $58.2 million bond from 2002.

If the new bond passes, voters would be paying $120 per $100,000 of assessed value on their annual property tax bills, Scott said, which would continue to decline as the bonds are paid.

The additional property tax will be in addition to Measure N, which voters passed in March to fund upgrades at Watsonville Community Hospital. That measure places $24 per $100,000 of assessed value on properties in Pajaro Valley Health Care District. 

Trustee Jen Holm said that the need within the vast district requires drastic action.

“Given the scope of our needs, I don’t see how we can ask for less,” she said. “We’re already asking for less than we need.”

Trustee Kim De Serpa said that she wants to prioritize projects at Pajaro Valley High School, most notably a performing arts center, which was promised under Measure L but was not delivered after construction costs increased.

“I want to make sure that those projects get done first if this bond passes,” she said 

The trustees had three bond options to choose from in addition to the $350 million–one for $195 million and another for $295 million.

Trustee Daniel Dodge, Jr., who made the motion to support the larger amount, said he wants to make sure the projects promised under the previous measure are delivered.

He also stressed the need for teacher housing.

1 COMMENT

  1. With the closing of the homeless shelter, across from the police station. Now unemployed those citizens not all, some are living outside. Plus the people that were shut out, back in the street. Watsonville has regressed, thru out these decades. Born and raised here, prices of homes are unattainable. City hall & mayor have done absolutely nothing to get apartments built, there’s no economy here. Young people have no apprenticeship programs, the only one that’s still here CETA. Need technology apprentiships with silicon valley, teach young students free coding classes. Need way better outreach, etc etc

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