Renovations to Le Grand football stadium and gym envisioned

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comFebruary 25, 2014 

— Le Grand Union High School District trustees unanimously decided Feb. 19 to seek voter approval in June for a $4.2 million general obligation bond.

The bond will be used partly to renovate the Le Grand High School football stadium, according to Trustee John Chavez. Superintendent Donna Alley said a new press box will be part of the football stadium renovation. Money would be used to renovate the gym, build a new bus barn and a portable classroom at the Granada High School site in Planada.

“We need to update and renovate some facilities,” Alley said. “The bus barn will be our last project. We want to make sure other programs that benefit students are done first. We will only cover our needs and not necessarily our wants.”

She is hoping the district won’t need any more money beyond what the bond will bring.

Trustee Jim Tesone said the board went through the improvement list two, three and four times. He is hoping total project costs will be lower than predicted.

“All five board members are dedicated to keeping costs down,” Tesone said. “I’m disappointed we had to go up from earlier estimates. We’re very diligent and have tried to keep expenses down.”

Trustee John Chavez said facility needs must to be addressed and is hoping voters agree.

“We need to pass it,” Chavez said.

Tesone said the current bus barn is a World War II-vintage quonset hut and inadequate for the job. The board has kept the bond proposal to $25 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, he said.

An oversight committee will be established to monitor spending, Tesone said. The district’s last bond measure was approved in 2000 and used to build the school’s cafeteria.

The district collects very little in developer fees, Alley said, and state funds for improvements aren’t likely. The district is up to date on its technology infrastructure but may need to do some minor work on lighting and heating-cooling systems.

The Le Grand district has more than 500 students. A 55 percent voter approval is needed to pass the bond. The financial planning firm of Isom Advisors of Orange and Walnut Creek surveyed local voters last fall and determined 65 percent favored the bond.

Sun-Star staff writer Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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