‘We are absolutely doing these projects’: Penn Valley to continue with some facility repairs despite failed bond measure | TheUnion.com

‘We are absolutely doing these projects’: Penn Valley to continue with some facility repairs despite failed bond measure

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

In January, Penn Valley Union Elementary School Superintendent Torie Gibson said that if bond Measure J were to fail, it would leave the school district in “dire straits.”

On Friday, that loss was cemented when local elections officials certified the vote.

Measure J received 2,501 “yes” votes, or 41.48%. It had 3,528 “no” votes, or 58.52%. It needed 55% to pass.

Had it passed, Measure J would have gone toward facility renovations at Ready Springs Elementary and Williams Ranch Elementary.

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Gibson said that the district bond team, which had developed a survey months before the vote showing approval of the measure, met on March 13 to establish an alternative plan moving forward.

While school bonds frequently pass in California, much fewer did in March, according to EdSource. A combination of lower turnout, fears of the coronavirus spreading and a plunging stock market may have all contributed to the negative votes. Gibson herself said people in the polling industry are calling March 3 “bloody Tuesday.”

Regardless of the result, the superintendent said the school district still needs to make infrastructure repairs. Money for repairs may come from the sale of Pleasant Valley Elementary School or from loans, as the district has good cash flow, according to Gibson.

In either case, Penn Valley intends to make roofing repairs at Ready Springs and repair dry rot at Williams Ranch.

“We are absolutely doing these projects,” said Gibson.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.

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