Prop. 47 headed toward passage |

Prop. 47 headed toward passage

Jeff Munson and William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

South Lake Tahoe education officials were elated Tuesday as California voters were on their way to approving Proposition 47, a ballot measure that would provide $13.05 billion for new construction and modernization of existing California schools.

With 65 percent of the precincts reporting, the measure was passing by 58.3 percent. It will provide Lake Tahoe Community College with the $9 million it needs to build a 25,000-square-foot library and art building to the left of the main entrance in 2004.

Currently the college has a 5,500 square foot library on the second floor above the student commons area. Passage also gives Lake Tahoe Unified School District $10 million in reimbursement money for projects it has completed throughout the district.

Had Proposition 47 lost, LTCC’s project’s development would have been shelved, and future projects for LTUSD would have been put on hold.

“I’m delighted,” said LTCC President Guy Lease. “This will fund our new library building that we desperately need for our students. It gives us the opportunity to better serve the community at large and it also gives us a chance to convert current space to classrooms. It is a major step forward for Lake Tahoe Community College.”

Higher education facilities in California, which include community colleges, state schools and universities, expects more than 700,000 new students at the end of the decade.

The passage will allow about 46,000 classrooms to be built in California in the next several years to alleviate overcrowding and provide room to incoming students.

The $13.05 billion will be shared between school districts with kindergarten through 12th-grade schools and higher education. Currently, about 6.1 million students are educated in the K-12 system and 2.3 million students utilize California’s higher education systems.

LTUSD Superintendent Diane Scheerhorn said the district will continue with its modernization projects, thanks to the proposition’s passage Tuesday.

“I’m extremely pleased. It is an opportunity for us to continue to update and maintain our facilities,” Scheerhorn said.

Measure C, passed in 1999 by voters, provided the district modernization money that included $3 million to South Tahoe Middle School and $900,000 to South Tahoe High School.

The latest proposition will help fund future modernization projects at Meyers and Sierra House elementary schools, which already have the planning and state approval cost paid for. In addition, the school bus and warehouse building will be improved and expanded.

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