The Sweetwater Union High School District board approved a $400 million bond measure for the November ballot this morning.
If it gets the required 55 percent of the vote, the money will be used to improve their existing facilities.
The ballot language states the funds will be used to repair or upgrade classrooms, libraries and science labs, prepare students for college or careers, and expand the instruction of science, technology, engineering and math. The funds will also be used to remove asbestos or lead and fix deteriorating roofs, according to the language approved by the trustees on Friday.
Among the items on the project list are additional safety measures including alarms, surveillance cameras, fencing and gates. The board also hopes to upgrade school drop-off areas, restrooms and portable buildings.
If approved by voters, the bond will be funded by charging homeowners two cents for every $100 on their property tax bill.
The cash-strapped district has been struggling to find space for a growing number of middle school and high school students.
"Building a new school is not something that can just happen overnight obviously," said district spokesperson Manny Rubio.
"I think it’s a small investment," he said. "But I think it’s a worthwhile investment."
One of the items on the proposed project list is to acquire land and construct new schools.
Homeowner Karina Jones understands the frustration of property owners and acknowledges it's not going to be easy.
"We live in the United States where things cost money and sometimes where we live we’re going to have to get taxed and we’re going to have to pay for it," Jones said.
The existing schools that would see improvements under the bond measure are Bonita Vista High School and Bonita Vista Middle School, Castle Park High School and Castle Park Middle School, Chula Vista High School and Chula Vista Middle School, Eastlake High School and Eastlake Middle School, Granger Junior High School, Hilltop High School and Hilltop Middle School, Mar Vista Academy, Mar Vista High School, Montgomery High School and Montgomery Middle School, National City Middle School, Olympian High School, Otay Ranch High School, Rancho Del Rey Middle School, San Ysidro High School, Southwest High School and Southwest Middle School, Sweetwater High School, Adult Education Centers and Alternative Education Centers.
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