Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 07/23/2010 06:08:43 PM PDT

The Claremont Unified School District has approved the placement of a $95 million bond measure on the Nov. 2 election ballot.

School district officials said the bond was necessary to update aging classroom facilities and improve classroom technology.

Property owners would have to pay about $45 per $100,000 of assessed value, which would be based on the price of a home when it was first purchased.

The bond would require 55 percent voter approval for passage.

School board members on Thursday approved placing the bond on the ballot by a 4 to 1 vote. Board member Steven Llanusa cast the dissenting vote.

“The district needs money, but if this was a house and we needed to fix the plumbing we could do it with a parcel tax,” Llanusa said. “To raise the money we need with a bond is like redecorating a house and building an additional room to fix the plumbing.”

Half-a-dozen residents spoke in favor of the bond because of the benefit to school construction and relief to the district’s general fund thanks to refinancing.

“It’s an opportunity to take advantage of a crisis in the construction industry,” resident Bill Fox said. “Construction costs are way down. It’s a much different environment than 10 years ago. Ten years ago, when Measure Y (a $12.5 million school facilities bond) passed, we had very different challenges in bidding on what was out there. What we’re seeing is prices are coming down.”

Three people speaking against the bond expressed concern about the $95 million price tag as well as how funds from the June 2000 bond measure did not go to expected construction projects because of cost overruns.

Parent Kathy Yeager said she was an “enthusiastic supporter” of the 2000 measure Y bond measure, but later “realized we had been duped.”

Projects were scaled back or not undertaken, said Yeager, who is a Parent Faculty Association member at Chaparral Elementary School and El Roble Intermediate School.

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