CUSD bond measure aimed at repairing aging campuses

FRESNO, Calif.

The CUSD governing board approved the bond measure during Wednesday night's meeting. District officials said the facility bond won't increase existing tax rates.

A fresh coat of paint can improve curb appeal but it can't mask massive cracks in the concrete at Clovis High. The aging facility opened in 1969.

Interim superintendent Steve Ward said it's tough keeping kids cool in the classroom. Ward explained, "Probably what our biggest issue is our air conditioning system. Number one, they're very inefficient but then number two they're prone to breakdowns."

The electrical panel which powers the ac unit is also an original. District maintenance manager Brad Pawlowski said, "It's antiquated and because of its age it tends to have nuisance trips or nuisance failures that can cause disruption to the learning process."

Old equipment also causes false fire alarms. But the problems aren't unique to Clovis High. Two thirds of the schools in Clovis Unified are over twenty years old. Clark Intermediate is the district's oldest campus at 71 years old. Temperance-Kutner elementary is 67 years old. District officials said bond money would pay for new plumbing, roofs and technology upgrades.

School board president Ginny Hovsepian said, "These funds would be used at every one of our schools to meet the needs of our students."

Superintendent Ward said the bond measure is needed to help offset state budget cuts. "It's absolutely critical. One of the things we've seen in the past is we've been able to leverage our local dollars with state dollars."

District officials were confident voters will pass the bond in February because it basically works as an extension to a previously passed measure and does not raise tax rates.

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