Poll suggests school bond poised to pass

With the district’s six schools facing dire facility maintenance problems, a bond measure aimed at fixing dilapidated buildings is expected to be approved this week for the November ballot.

The vote on the proposed bond by the Burlingame School District board follows a survey, conducted by David Binder Research, showing that more than 60 percent of likely voters would vote for a $42 million measure. A bond would require 55 percent approval at the polls.

“I have no reason to believe that we won’t go forward with it when we meet Tuesday,” district Board Member Liz Gindraux said.

In the April survey of 400 people, 66 percent of likely voters said they would support a $42 million bond measure for facility maintenance projects. That figured dipped to 58 percent after respondents learned details of the long-term impact on property owners. Property taxes would likely be raised by $30 for every $100,000 of the assessed value of their house. A $32 million bond measure got 70 percent approval.

Superintendent Sonny Da Marto said maintenance problems ranged from electrical and lighting issues to cracked asphalt and leaky roofs and bathrooms that he called “deplorable.” He said there are more than $42 million worth of needs.

“It’s been about 11 years since the district has had any money to do major work on its facilities,” he said. “Some of our roofs are in critical condition. Roofs alone can cost $800,000 to replace because they are so large.”

All six schools are 50 years or older, according to board President Dave Pine, who has a child entering the first grade at McKinley School. He said facilities directly affect a child’s ability to learn. “For a kid to learn in the classroom, they have to have a safe and comfortable environment,” he said.

Though the survey focused on a dollar amount of $42 million, the actual dollar amount of a bond measure has yet to be determined. The board meeting takes place at 8 a.m. Tuesday at the district office at 1825 Trousdale Drive.

bfoley@examiner.com

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