Election Day 2014 might be a distant memory for most Vail residents. For Vail Unified School District employees, the bond money that arrived after a YES vote was awarded to Proposition 424 is still very much top of mind.
Voters living in the Vail School District passed this highly anticipated proposition with an overwhelming favorable response. The bond was approved by the largest margin of any education issue in Pima County on the ballot this November.
What Proposition 424 Means for Vail
With the passing of the proposition, the Vail Unified School District will receive $28,775,000 in bond money.
Voters who voted no on Proposition 424 did so largely because of the slight increase in property taxes. The bond will raise the average homeowner’s property taxes by $5.38 each month for the 20-year life of the bond.
However, the majority of Vail residents opted to pay this increased tax in exchange for a stronger school district.
Perhaps no other time has Vail’s motto, “Where education is a community effort,” felt truer.
“The success of the school district is dependent on the support of the community,” said John Carruth, Assistant Superintendent at the Vail Unified School District. “The health of the community is largely reliant on having a strong, healthy school district.”
A Mini-Stimulus Package for Vail
Now, as Election Day becomes a distant memory for most voters, school district officials are gearing up to put the bond money to good use.
The money is acting as a mini stimulus package to our local economy. An overwhelming majority of the bond funds will be spent locally to hire architects, contractors, engineers, and sub contractors.
These people will be employed to design and build a new elementary school and a new wing at Andrada High School.
Once complete, more of the bond money will be used to equip the new school and wing.
A design committee consisting of community members and Vail Unified School District staff will meet beginning in January to plan the process for the two new projects. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2015 and be completed by the summer of 2016.
The projects don’t stop there.
Over the next three to five years, the bond will also fund the expansion at Esmond Station K-8 School, adding space for an additional 125 to 150 students.
The Breakdown of the Vail School District Bond Usage
Here’s a closer look at where the bond money will be spent over the coming years.
• $21 million is designated for new school construction.
• $7 million in non-school construction funds will be used to purchase buses, updated communication equipment and technology infrastructure, replace aging grounds and facilities equipment, and provide needed building repairs.
As the bond money gets put to use in our community, Vail residents and local businesses will see the direct impact of the spending that’ll be used to implement new facilities and upgrade old infrastructure.