As February approaches, the Oceanside School District is preparing for a Feb. 11 vote on a proposed $30 million bond.
The bond, which was proposed on Nov. 19 and accepted by the Board of Education on Jan. 17, includes updates in technology, security, energy conservation, parking lots and locker rooms. District Superintendent Phyllis Harrington has said she hopes to raise support in the community, and that so far she has received a positive response.
“Our efforts to reach out to different constituent groups to present the specifics on the bond have proved very fruitful,” Harrington said. “Parents are particularly pleased to know that security upgrades are part of the bond. The understanding of how this is fiscally responsible has also been widely understood.”
Security upgrades are planned for every building in the district, and include exterior and interior cameras, access controls, panic alarms, strobe lights and public-address system interlocks.
Upgrades in technology would include wireless access ports at the high school, which would allow the district’s iPad initiative to eventually move to that building, and upgrade infrastructure at the elementary schools.
The district also intends to add technology promoting “green” energy district-wide. These upgrades would include new fluorescent and LED lighting, which would be introduced to each building on a priority basis. Occupancy sensors would also be installed to shut off lights in unoccupied spaces, and the roofs of district buildings would be fitted with solar panels.
According to the school district’s official bond presentation, infrastructure renovations would cost $22.48 million; conservation measures, $3.85 million; security upgrades, $2.66 million; and technology upgrades, $1 million.
Donna Kraus, the district’s public information coordinator, said that the district intends to inform residents as best it can over the coming weeks. “We have a document that’s going out, probably will be going into the mail next week,” she said on Jan. 23. “It’s basically our referendum bulletin, so residents are reminded that the vote is coming up. It highlights all the upgrades by school.”
Harrington said she is optimistic about the turnout for the vote on the bond, which the district sees as integral to Oceanside’s development moving forward. “My hope is that all residents become informed and exercise that right to vote,” she said.