Grand jury endorses high school improvements |

Grand jury endorses high school improvements

Plans to improve local high schools should go forward, according to a Nevada County grand jury report released Friday.

Nevada Joint Union High School District should “identify and actively pursue all funding options,” the jury recommended.

In less than two weeks, Nevada County voters will consider Measure A – a $15-million bond issue to raise money for repairs and improvements at Nevada Union, Bear River and Sierra Foothill high schools.

If Measure A passes with at least 55 percent of the vote, property owners will pay an extra $10 for every $100,000 of assessed property value. Passage would allow the district to apply for an additional $8 million to $10 million in state funds.

“I’m pleased that they recognize the need for Measure A,” said Terry McAteer, Nevada County superintendent of schools Friday. He is co-coordinator of the campaign to pass Measure A.

The grand jury report entailed several conclusions.

Nevada Union and Bear River high schools are overcrowded, the report said. Nevada Union, built for 2,025, has 2,681 students; Bear River, with a capacity of 810 students, has an enrollment of 1,143.

Bear River needs a new swimming pool and an auditorium comparable to Nevada Union’s, the report also said.

Furthermore, both Nevada Union and Sierra Foothill do not comply with the American with Disabilities Act, jurors found. Nevada Union’s older buildings need major renovations and asbestos needs to be removed, the report said.

Nevada Union was built from 1960 to 1968; Bear River opened in 1986.

Sierra Foothill, off of South Auburn Street in Grass Valley, was built in 1939.

The report does not require a response.

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