Chamber supports school bond measure |

Chamber supports school bond measure

Sally J. Taylor

The South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce on Thursday unanimously voted to support Measure C.

The school bond measure for improvements to Lake Tahoe Unified School District schools will be voted on in a special election on May 4.

“This is a good and perishable opportunity for the community,” former El Dorado County Supervisor John Upton told the board.

The school buildings in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District are 26 to 52 years old, he said. Except for Al Tahoe Elementary and Tahoe Valley Elementary, which were refurbished following a bond measure passed in 1992, little as been done to upgrade them.

“As all businesses need to be upgraded and modernized, so do the schools.”

Measure C is a response to the passage of California Proposition 1A, which provides $9.2 billion in state bonds for school building improvements, as long as the districts provide matching funds. Measure C would allow sale of $17 million in bonds with an additional $10 million possible from the state.

“We need to act now to get the benefits,” Upton said. “We need to get our schools ready for the next century. The students need the tools and the classrooms to be ready.”

The need for school improvements has been so great, school district officials have already prepared plans, so repairs and improvements could be started as soon as funds were made available.

“Three projects are ready to go this year,” Upton said.

First-year projects include an alternative education center at the high school, new science classes in the middle school and basic modernization upgrades at both. In the second year, basic modernization projects would be extended to Bijou Elementary and Meyers Elementary.

Because Measure C will be the only item on the ballot, Upton encouraged voters to cast their ballots by mail rather than risk forgetting or not being able to.

Funds from Measure C and Proposition 1A are expected to provide all the major improvements needed for the “long term,” Upton said.

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