Grass Valley school bond measure supporters host informational event
May 2, 2018
After a year-long process of polling potential voters and whittling down its wish list to a more voter-friendly level, the Grass Valley School District placed an $18.8 million bond measure on the June ballot.
Now, they just need to get voters out and to the polls — and to vote yes. The general obligation bond would require a 55 percent vote to prevail.
On Wednesday, the Grass Valley Yes on Measure D campaign hosted "Grass Valley Ballot Basics," a voter registration drive and informational event featuring tacos and beer at the Center for the Arts.
Students from Lyman Gilmore School performed pieces from "Peter Pan," and Bell Hill School students performed a folk dance, during the event.
Lieann Campbell, a first-grade dual immersion teacher at Bell Hill, told the audience she came to Grass Valley from a school district in Minnesota that had been in a similar situation and successfully passed a facilities bond measure. When she returned for a visit, she said, she was struck by the pride those students had in their refurbished school.
"They became a 21st-century school," she said. "It was very exciting."
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In Grass Valley, Campbell said, it is evident that the students love their schools. But, she added, they have had to make do with what they have.
The district, formed in 1853, lays claim to the oldest school buildings and the oldest continuously operated school site in California — Hennessy School. Now the home of Grass Valley Charter School, Hennessy was built in the 1930s while Bell Hill Academy dates back to the 1950s. No modernization improvements have been done since about 2000, Assistant Superintendent Brian Martinez has said. The last time the Grass Valley School District went out for a bond was 50 years ago.
"The schools are the heart of our community," Campbell said, adding that by investing in the schools, the community is saying yes to its children.
Campbell noted most of those in the audience already were supporters of Measure D and told them they need to take that message out into the community.
Measure D asks voters to approve $18.8 million in bonds at legal interest rates, with projected tax rates of 2.4 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at email@example.com.
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