In November of 2018, Tulare County voters within the Visalia Unified School District area passed Measure A, a bond authorizing $105.3 million for modernizations and funds for a fifth high school. Of that amount, $35.3 million was allocated for modernization projects within the school district to include science classroom upgrades and added security measures.
The first series of bonds were sold on June 25, 2020. No property tax assessments had been collected for Measure A bonds prior to this bond sale. Taxpayers’ property taxes are not assessed until the bonds are sold. The assessments to property taxes are expected to be $34 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
The $35.17 million allocated will cover the first 2 phases of modernization projects, campus security, science labs at middle and high schools, and the initial design costs for the fifth high school. VUSD achieved a lower than projected interest rate on the bond sale based on the market conditions and their excellent credit rating. The savings to taxpayers is expected to be nearly $6M, on the repayment of this first $35.17 bond sale alone, and shorten the expected repayment period by five (5) years.
The first phase of modernization projects at Green Acres, Valley Oak, and Divisadero Middle Schools will be underway soon. Architects have been selected and facilities staff is currently supplying existing plans for each site to the selected architects. These three middle schools are in the first and second phases of Measure A modernization projects. The facilities team has reached out to the site administration to begin the process of establishing their design teams. The goal of the design teams is to work with the Facilities Department and architects to identify and prioritize the highest priority needs for each school site and stay within the available budgets.