Saturday, December 31, 2005

Konocti breaks ground on bond-financed projects

The Konocti Unified School District broke ground this year on its first project to be financed by a school bond, Measure G.

More than two-thirds of participating voters approved the $18.5 million bond, which appeared on the Nov. 2, 2004 ballot. "It's a vote of confidence the district has given you," said bond consultant John Isom before the school board on the following night. Voters' approval of the bond was soon followed by the board's appointment of an independent oversight committee.

A groundbreaking ceremony held Wednesday, April 6 commemorated the new East Lake Elementary School library , the first project to be financed by Konocti's bond. Donning hard hats and hefting "golden" shovels, groups of district supporters turned over shovelfuls of dirt.

The new East Lake Elementary School library is one of five to be constructed in Konocti. The district has been awarded a "Improving Literacy Through School Libraries" grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the successful application by grant writer Karen MacDougall. It will transform library facilities into state-of-the-art media centers and will increase their collections by a total of 6,000 books.

East Lake library is the frontrunner among construction and modernization projects, but additional projects are scheduled to follow suit. Construction will be ongoing through Jan. 27, 2012 according to an implementation plan timeline.

Homeowners will repay Measure G at $38.07 per year for an assessed valuation of $100,000. Money raised through bond sales will be leveraged with other funding sources such as use for a local match to secure modernization grants. Use of the money is subject to strict oversight by the independent committee.

Originally published in the Clear Lake Observer American