KIMBERLY • Voters approved a proposed bond facilities levy for the Kimberly School District, allowing the district to push ahead with plans to renovate a World War II-era gymnasium and make improvements to its sports complex and technology classes.
The $3 million bond, which needed a supermajority to pass, garnered 69 percent (540) of the yes vote to 31 percent (242) that said no.
“We’re excited,” said Superintendent Luke Schroeder. “We’re very excited.”
More good news for the district: About half the bond amount will be paid back at 80 cents per dollar, Schroeder said.
“Due to a unique, one time funding opportunity,” reads information provided by the Kimberly SchoolDistrict, “we can take advantage of both a federal Qualified School Construction Bond and a state program that lowers the overall cost of the bond. We can bond for $3,000,000 and pay it back by extending our current bond payments for three years. This opportunity is especially advantageous because the school district will only be required to pay back $1.2 million of the $1.5 million from the Qualified School Construction portion of the bond.”
The bond is for the renovation of the L.A. Thomas Gym and Auditorium, one of the most used facilities in the district. Money also will be used to upgrade the sports complex and enhance technology in the classrooms.
The bond was a community initiative, Schroeder said, so it came as no surprise to him that it passed.
Three community groups — Let’s Finish It L.A. Thomas Committee, Kimberly Booster Club and Bulldog Pride Sports Complex group — proposed the bond issue to the school board. The groups placed signs all over town, he said, and made 600 phone calls Monday night to remind residents about the vote.
“Some very great people worked to get the (gym) done 70 years ago,” Schroeder said. “It’ll be nice to bring closure to that project. ... There are some very excited people here tonight.”