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School officials thrilled with bond measure victory

Nevada County educators were all smiles Wednesday following passage of Measure A, the $15 million school bond that will bring much-needed repairs and renovations to three of the county’s high schools.

“We’re very pleased at Nevada Union,” said Principal Marilynn Keeble. “It’s affirmation about how our community feels about young people and the importance of a good education and good school facilities.”



The measure, which required a 55 percent “yes” vote to pass, received 61 percent of the votes Tuesday.




Of the $15 million, Nevada Union and Bear River high schools will each get $7 million, and $1 million will go to Sierra Foothill High School, an alternative school in Grass Valley.

The $15 million general obligation bond will cost property owners in the high school district an extra $10 per $100,000 of their assessed property value per year.

Built in the early 1960s, Nevada Union will use its share to replace the school’s air conditioning and heating system, and renovate classrooms and the boys and girls gymnasiums.

“This is an old building and we really need these improvements,” Keeble said.

Jeff Dellis teaches advanced placement American government and politics at Nevada Union and said his students took a definite interest in Tuesday’s election.

“The kids I see have a more longterm perspective of things,” Dellis said. “They have a vested interest because a lot of them will raise their kids in this community.”

Dellis said 25 or 30 of his students walked the precincts with county Superintendent of Schools Terence McAteer during the weekend and helped distribute information leaflets on Measure A.

“There were absolutely thrilled about (Tuesday) night’s passage of the measure,” he said.

Dellis – who coaches the boys varsity basketball team – said the classroom where he teaches was built in the mid-70s.

“The only improvements made since was when the basketball team came in last summer and painted the walls,” Dellis said. “There’s definitely a need throughout the campus for rehabilitation.”

Principal Linda Campbell said Sierra Foothill will use most of its $1 million share to bring the 63-year-old school into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The rest will be used to upgrade plumbing in the school’s bathrooms, she said.

“It’s great,” said Campbell of the measure’s passage. “It’s good for the schools so they can fix things up.”

Bear River High School will use its $7 million share to build a long-promised swimming pool and performing arts facility.

“The completion of Bear River High School is a project we’ve been working on four years now,” said Gary Clarke, the Yes On Measure A campaign co-chairman and south county coordinator. “We’re delighted that the public saw the need and approved Measure A by a wide margin.”

Clarke said a number of bond elections didn’t pass in the state and credited the hard work of south county residents for getting the word out about the need for Measure A.

The pool and theater will be an asset to the entire community because both will be available for public use when school’s not in session, Clarke said.

Julie Hopkins, assistant superintendent of business, said the district probably won’t see any construction until sometime in 2004.

The school district will begin selling the first series of bonds in August, Hopkins said, and then project design work will begin. That should take about a year.

The plans then go to the Department of State Architects for approval, after which the projects will be sent out for bid, she said.


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