Wasco Union High School District leaders are urging voters to approve a multi-million dollar bond measure. Superintend Lori Albrecht said some of the district’s facilities, including the gym, are more than 70 years old. She said if this bond measure is approved, the district will go ahead with much-needed upgrades.
The Wasco Union High School Facilities Bond, Officially termed Measure E, is a $40.5 million bond would upgrade facilities used by Wasco high school, per Albrecht . It would be paid for with funds received from an annual property tax of $30/$100,000 of assessed property value.
“The student body cannot fit in the gym for a rally, not even half the student body,” Albrecht said, saying the revenue from the bond would help with major upgrades to the decades-old gym and neighboring locker rooms and showers.
The decades-old aquatics facility would also be upgraded, according to the superintendent.
“The city recreation pool is probably about 60 years old and it frequently fails and it’s not reliable,” she added.
Michael Turnipseed of the Kern County Taxpayers Association said the organization supports the measure.
“For the conditions of the district, we think this is about as good as a deal as taxpayers can expect,” he said.
But 17 News Republican political analyst Cathy Abernathy urged caution.
“A bond has to be paid back. It’s still going to take taxpayer money,” she said. “How many bond measures have been passed state-wide, county wide for the schools? Why hasn’t Wasco been able to get the money that they should have been able to get? Because the state legislator decides so much of that.”
The superintend emphasized this will be a valuable investment in Wasco’s education system and children.
“I know people are hit hard with several different bond measures that passed in 2016, but this is local, this is our town, and it’s our kids, and it most definitely benefits as local as you can get,” she said.
The bond is expected to accumulate another $40 million in interest by the time it’s paid off in 30 years.
The measure needs 55 percent to pass.