Amazon is coming to Vail — a $600 million impact over the next 5 years according to Joe Snell of the Sun Corridor, Inc.

Raytheon’s presence is being expanded.

IBM just celebrated its 40th birthday and is going strong.

The UA Tech Park is at capacity and adding The Village at Rita Road — a mixed-use development that will include retail, commercial, residential, and hotel.

Home construction is booming, and home values are increasing.

A major draw for high tech companies and their employees is top quality schools and vibrant communities. The press release from the Tech Park says it well:

The UA Tech Park at Rita Road benefits from a number of strategic advantages which create a critical mass not often seen in most development projects. It is strategically located in one of the fastest growing regions in Tucson and Pima County and in one of the area’s best school districts – Vail Unified School District.

Economic growth brings more jobs. Jobs bring more homes. Homes bring more students. Those new students need schools, buses, and technology.

Vail’s high schools are beyond full. Library and teacher workroom spaces have been converted into classrooms. Online and early college options have been added. Open enrollment students are being turned away. A new high school is needed.

K-8 schools are also near capacity. In recognition of these needs, the state has awarded the Vail School District partial funding for a new high school and a new K-8 school. While this funding is most helpful and greatly appreciated, it will not cover actual costs.

Citizen committees who have been studying the district’s needs throughout the past school year recommend an additional $35 million for a high school and an additional $10 million for a K-8 school.

A high school planning committee — made up of community members and staff — has recommended that the district build the first phase of a comprehensive, 2,000 student high school. The first phase is planned to serve 1,000 students and be located on Valencia Road, just east of Houghton Road. A location for a K-8 school will be determined at a later date, depending on where the most growth occurs.

In addition to the new schools, a bond committee and the governing board have been studying the possibility of seeking bond funds for other needs and projects, such as:

  • expansion of Vail Inclusive Preschool
  • wide area network
  • regular and special education buses
  • replace aging portable buildings with permanent buildings
  • expansion of fields at Corona Foothills
  • refurbish fields at other middle schools
  • theater or music hall
  • fine arts/dance and low-cost athletic facilities at Andrada High School
  • repair/refurbish restrooms across the district
  • replace carpet/flooring across the district

It will not be possible to include all of these needs and projects in a bond package.

On Tuesday, June 26, the Vail Governing Board is scheduled to vote on:

  • whether or not to call for a bond election
  • the dollar amount and list of needs/projects to be included (if a bond is called for)

How much would a bond cost homeowners? It depends, of course, on the size of the bond. One example: a $70 million bond would cost the average homeowner in Vail about $16.36 per month.

The Bond Committee and Governing Board have been carefully considering the contrasting needs of protecting our community’s top quality education and restricting tax increases.

Community members are invited to provide input to board members before they vote on June 26. Emails sent to will be distributed to all members of the Board: Jon Aitken, Claudia Anderson, Allison Pratt, Mark Tate, and Callie Tippett.

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