Forums to assess needs of schools

first_imgLANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Union High School District is holding a series of public forums to get community input about facility needs as it gears up for another run at passing a construction bond. The district didn’t hold such meetings in a previous attempt in June to pass a $177.5 million bond measure, which voters rejected. “We were up against a time frame,” Deputy Superintendent Jeff Foster said. “We opted to go with an earlier date. The trade-off was it cut down on community awareness or time to let people know what it was we were trying to do.” The district is studying whether to pursue another bond in November. A decision will be made by summer. So far, two meetings have been held at Littlerock and Quartz Hill high schools. Meetings are scheduled for Monday at Palmdale High; March 22 at Eastside High; April 2 at Lancaster High; April 5 at Knight High; April 10 at Highland; and April 23 at Antelope Valley High. The meetings are held in the evenings, generally with start times between 6 and 7 p.m. Call the schools to get the exact time and location. The purpose is in part to gather input about what people want to see built or improved if the district does pass a bond. But the forums also give people a chance to propose projects that would not fall under bond funding. “It’s to get input from the public,” Trustee Donita Winn said. “And my emphasis is, even if it’s something that would not fit into the bond picture, how can we make changes these people want, with developer fee money or something else.” More than 100 people showed up to the Littlerock High meeting. Staff and parents talked about electricity and lighting that didn’t work, the desire for tile flooring instead of carpeting and the need for a new paint job and a press box for the stadium. The district wants to pass a bond measure to pay for building one or two high schools, complete construction of Eastside High and make other improvements at other campuses. In January, the board voted to spend $21,000 for a consultant to increase awareness about the need for more facilities in the growing district, and to generate support for a bond measure. In June, the district came up just short with Measure E, which got 52 percent of the vote, short of the 55 percent needed. The measure would have taxed property owners about $30 per $100,000 of assessed valuation annually. Had it passed, Measure E would have helped pay for new high schools in southeast Palmdale and on the west side of the Antelope Valley, completing construction of Eastside High, expanding Quartz Hill High, and adding two new science labs at Lancaster. The district enrolls about 24,000 students, and some campuses, including Highland and Quartz Hill high schools, have populations of more than 3,000. [email protected] (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img


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