Trustees of the Whittier Union High School District have unanimously approved a $75-million school facilities bond issue on the March ballot.
A total of $67 million would be spent to repair facilities and $8 million for additional classroom construction in the seven-campus district. If passed, the bond issue would be financed through increased property taxes. The average district homeowner would have to pay about $20 more per year in property taxes for the next 25 years, district officials estimated.
The bond money is essential because district schools, which range in age from 30 to 65 years, are deteriorating at an alarming rate, Supt. Lee Eastwood said.
"We have electrical systems at some of our schools that are absolutely ancient," he said. "We have power outages that last from several hours to several days. We have fire-alarm systems that after 40 to 50 years have given way. We have gas leaks that cause us to lose heating for weeks at a time. We currently lack proper handicapped access in most of our schools. There are holes in floors that haven't been tiled for 30 to 40 years."
The bond proposal includes money for new classrooms because district officials estimate that enrollment will rise by 1,500 students in the next seven years.