Measure B | Building Better Schools

September 30, 2008 4:39:12 PM PDT
Central Unified is hoping the second time is the charm for a school bond measure that failed to pass last June. But this time, the district is using some high-tech equipment to give voters a better "picture" of what Measure B will do for kids.Even a recount last July could not produce enough votes to pass a 150-million dollar bond measure for Central Unified.

But the district is not giving up, only this time, its making sure voters know exactly what their money will pay for.

Mike Berg, Assistant Superintendent: "Just providing information at every PTA meeting, at every back to school night, at staff meetings-- We've been essentially to every group we can get ourselves in front of to provide actual handouts ... "

The only change to the bond is its name. It's now Measure "B", Building Better Schools. The list of projects it will fund is the same four new schools and over 100 improvement projects at older campuses.

"It's not just a bond to provide growth projects for the district-- but also projects that will provide opportunities for our existing schools to come up to speed and be as exceptional as our new schools are."

Now, a high-tech laser scanner ... is helping the district provide a better picture of what's to come.

Hovig Devejian, Scanning supervisor: "Everything that is within line of sight the scanner will pick up-- it shoots out about 800 feet and its basically storing about 15-hundred points a second."

Precision civil engineering of Fresno is surveying central high-west campus, one of the schools in most need of repairs. They'll scan 50-60 areas throughout the campus in the next few days and eventually create a 3D image of the entire school.

Ed Dunkel, Precision, Inc.: "Everyone is visual and it's hard to explain things without seeing it on paper or a TV or computer... And with this you can see exactly what is in place and from there we can bring in a model and show exactly what its going to look like in the future."

The technology also allows for sweeping aerials like these taken of Bulldog Stadium that provide vivid detail and almost exact accuracy at every angle.

Dunkel: "It's much more advanced and much more accurate than previous tools and tools that many people are still using today ... "

Once scanning is complete at the west campus, school officials now and in the future, will be able to better plan for needed changes ... and with a few clicks of the mouse be able to demonstrate the transformations.

"It's another tool for us to articulate the needs and articulate what the outcomes will be."

Measure B will cost property owners about $60 for every 100-thousand dollars of assessed value of their home. If the bond passes, the district will receive 80 million dollars in state matching funds.

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