Leaky roofs. Non-existent sports facilities. Ancient plumbing.
The proposed school bond would fix a lot of these problems at schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, it's just tough to say if voters will back the bond.
It was that concern about support that led the PVUSD Board of Trustees to approve the bond at $150 million, down from .
The school board approved the bond with unanimous 7-0 vote, which inspired a round of applause. The measure will be on the November ballot.
But throughout the night, emotions ran high in the board room. High school students begged for while senior citizens on fixed incomes asked that their taxes not be raised.
“We think the bond is excessive," said Joe Moreno, representing the county's Senior Coalition. "It’s too much. It’s too big of a pill for us to swallow at this time.”
Helder Zargoza, who graduated from Pajaro Valley High School last week, said he came to speak up for younger students.
“I feel they would do better in school with more resources than I had," he said.
Aptos residents said they felt left out of the conversation and didn't want to support repairing schools in Watsonville.
The Facilities Master Plan, completed earlier this year, showed $200 million in repair and renovation needs in the sprawling school district. The Pajaro Valley Unified School District, the largest in the county, includes diverse communities including the Aptos beach area, rural Pajaro Valley and the city of Watsonville.
Others said they would support the bond to help kids everywhere in the district.
“We’re all vested; it’s for everyone," said Alison Niizawa, assistant principal at Pajaro Valley High School. “If you guys can support us, we will support back. We can get the bond. Everyone can get what they need.”
If approved in November, the bond will add about $38 per $100,000 of assessed home value to property owners' taxes.
Trustee Doug Keegan summed up the situation:
“At some point we just have to say we need help because our schools are suffering," he said.