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The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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School board approves bond measure for ballot

A $378 million bond measure will appear on the June 3 ballot, the school board unanimously voted on Tuesday, amid applause from the audience.

The bond, if passed, will ultimately be part of $772 million worth of bonds that will go toward upgrading the facilities of the entire district over the next 20 years.

The bond received nearly universal approval from the school board, community members and Superintendent Kevin Skelly.

“I think this is our collective legacy,” Skelly told the board. “As a board, as a community, as a staff, our job is about the things we construct here. This is just part of the business that a district does, but it is a very exciting thing in that it is our collective legacy.”

Board president Dana Tom praised the bond as working toward the district’s overall goal of improving its schools’ facilities.

“The teaching in the classroom is a key ingredient, moving toward our primary goal, educating our students,” Tom said. “We’ll be proud we passed this bond.”

Former board member Mandy Lowell also gave her support to the bond.

“Our taxpayers would be making an investment in the future,” Lowell said. “I want to encourage you to vote yes on it. I’m willing to work hard to benefit facilities that may not benefit my children. Our buildings and our lack of them are standing in the way of discussing exciting learning issues.”

Paly research librarian Rachel Kellerman was one of several community members who spoke out in defense of the bond, and asked the board to consider using some of the bond money to renovate the Paly library.

“It’s not because people don’t care (that the library hasn’t been renovated), its because there’s no money,” Kellerman said. “We want to be able to work in a facility that works for us. The kids need more collaborative space. We need to make a place where kids can do group projects and work collaboratively.”

Kellerman was not the only Paly teacher who spoke to the board about Paly’s needs. Drama teacher Kathleen Woods also asked the board to allocate bond funds to Paly – in particular, for the building of a new theater.

“A new theater really is imperative to meet the instructional needs of students at Paly,” Woods said. “Up-to-date facilities are really required. I really appreciate the care and consideration that’s been given to the bond, and I’d like to send the message to the board that it is very much important to build this theater.”

If the voters pass the bond, the board intends to begin work immediately on the building projects, Skelly said, and the district will issue over $100 million in bonds in the fall of 2008. In order to achieve this, Skelly encouraged the board to begin hiring architects as soon as possible.

“All of this stuff takes work,” Skelly said. “As soon as the bond passes, our hope is, we can approve bids to begin work on the pool (at Gunn). People are trusting us with their kids and their money, and we need to make sure that trust is deserved.”

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