Lemoore High School District to place $24 million measure on November ballot

Updated 6 years ago By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor
Lemoore High School District to place $24 million measure on November ballot

Lemoore Union High School District trustees, at their June 9 meeting, approved a resolution and additional ballot language that would place a $24 million property tax measure on the November ballot, the first local high school bond measure since Measure A, a $10 million bond passed by area voters in 1997.

The 2007 bond measure is expected to mature in 2022. School officials told The Leader that the $24 million bond measure, if passed by voters in November, will cost the average property owner $30 per $100,000 in property valuation, or $2.50 per month.

The bond measure, which doesn’t have an official title yet, is called the “Lemoore Union High School District School Repair Measure” and will be used to repair and upgrade the 115-year-old campus to better prepare students for college and careers by “repairing outdated classrooms, improve vocational and career education facilities and restrooms; fix plumbing, leaky roofs and remove asbestos/lead paint; upgrade school safety issues, improve heating/air conditioning; update classroom technology, fix wiring and update science labs, and ensure safe drinking water and repair and build new classrooms.”

Master Facilities Plan

Board members voted 5-0 to approve the resolution and send it to the county to be placed on the November ballot. Board Member Lupe Solis, a former teacher and principal at Lemoore High, and currently the Assistant Superintendent for the Tulare County of Education, confirmed that the board approved the $24 million measure, which would be the largest high school bond measure in Lemoore’s history.

“We’re still going to do some tweaking,” he said, adding that the campus is in need of some improvements. “Our campus is currently used for a lot of activities and with that comes a lot of wear and tear.”

Proceeds from the $24 million bond measure could be used to renovate Tiger Stadium.
Proceeds from the $24 million bond measure could be used to renovate Tiger Stadium.

The Lemoore High School District has a long record of successful bond measures. In addition to 1997’s Measure A, the district also approved a $2 million swimming pool bond measure in 1990 that voters overwhelmingly approved.

While $24 million is certainly a lot of money, Solis says its needed to create a modern and safe campus. “There are simply things that need to be addressed,” he said. “We really feel strongly that many things needed to be taken care of on our campus, for the benefit of the students and staff.”

The resolution makes clear that bond proceeds will not be used for teacher or administrator salaries and only for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of school facilities. In addition, the board of trustees will appoint a “Citizens’ Oversight Committee” to oversee the project from start to finish.

One of the major projects, should the bond measure pass, is expected to be the demolition of one of the school’s oldest structures, the small gymnasium, located in the center of the main campus. The adjacent home economics building, just east of the small gym, is also slated to be demolished, and in their place school officials say a new classroom complex will be constructed at a cost of $6.5 million.

According to a Master Plan Overview, prepared by Teeter Architects, Engineers Connected, and approved by the LHSD board on May 26, while the campus is large and has maintained its historical integrity, there are still many needs, including landscaping and student gathering places, corridor roofs in need of repair, infrastructure issues, failing water pipes and power distribution issues.

Teeter also indicated the district needs a technology upgrade and the 25-year-old pool is in need of re-plastering and lacks shade for seating. The ag farm lacks classroom and lab space and the Tiger Stadium restrooms and concessions are in need of ADA upgrades.

The District is likely to have access to a total of $30.5 million. In addition to the bond measure, the district could receive $832,000 from developer fees, $1.1 million from the capital reserve fund, and possible funding from the state to the tune of $4.4 million.

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