Bond given second chance

Brian Chang, News Editor

Less than a year after bond Measure O was rejected by district voters, the Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees voted to place the $152-million general bond back on the ballot in November.

If passed, the bond’s money will be used to upgrade 15 schools throughout WVUSD, including Diamond Bar High School.

At DBHS, the district plans to modernize the 400 and 500 buildings. The 500 building will be turned into a Science Technology Facility and the 400 building will be used for classrooms and a new Library Media Center.

Both current structures were built when DBHS first opened and have not seen significant updates since.

Additionally, the bond will provide funding for a new music building and renovation of the current band room. Security camera installation, roofing repair and restroom renovations are also included on the project list. Classes will be held in portable classrooms while the main ones are under modernization, the cost of which is also accounted for in the bond. Approximately $54 million, or 36 percent, of the bond money is set to be directed toward DBHS.

DBHS Assistant Principal David Hong said he believes that making public the details on how the money will be used should increase its chance of approval.

“I think, for one thing, the district has been more open about exactly what this bond is for by posting the list of projects that will be completed with the bond money,” Hong said. “I think the voters are a little bit more informed, a little more educated and hopefully as a result will be more likely to support it instead of just writing a blank check to the district.”

For the bond to pass, at least 55 percent of the voters on Nov. 8 need to vote yes. If approved, construction would likely last anywhere from half the school year to an entire school year.

“The modernization of each building is probably at least six months, if not an entire year long project, so the most likely scenario would be moving teachers completely out of the building for the entire school year while the building is modernized, and they would move in the next school year,” Hong said,

The bond also could set a precedent for a future statewide bond measure and would place WVUSD as one of the first school districts in line to receive such funding.

To ensure that money is being spent as it is meant to, independent audits and a Citizen’s Oversight Committee would have to be established, according to a report on the WVUSD website.

With Measure O’s failure to pass last November, the current measure may potentially be the first to have been passed since the bond that provided for the creation of the 600 building and the aquatic center in 2007.