9/4/2009 2:35:00 PM Beaver Creek School bond forum tries to educate
Beaver Creek Superintendent Karin Ward and bond counsel representative Bryan Lundberg were among Wednesday evening's informational presenters at a forum on the proposed school bond hosted by the Beaver creek Regional Council and moderated by Linda Buchanan of the League of Women voters of Sedona and the Verde Valley.
Kayo Parsons-Korn was one of about 40 residents who turned out Wednesday evening to hear representatives both for and against a proposed $3.275 million bond. If approved by the voters in November, the bond would be used to remodel existing facilities at Beaver Creek School and to build a new multiuse facility to be used by the school and the community at large.
Proposed bond numbers
Multiuse facility: $2,925,000
(Includes library, cafeteria/auditorium
kitchen classrooms, restrooms)
Remodel existing space: $200,000
(Convert jr. high science classroom to
science lab and existing library and
cafeteria to classrooms)
Acquire and construct administration $150,000
space (new board and conference room):
Estimated interest rate: 6 percent
Estimated annual tax rate: $0.4044
Estimated annual property taxes for $60.66
BEAVER CREEK - Anyone supporting Beaver Creek School's proposed $3,275,000 bond had to be pleased with Wednesday evening's forum.
Around 40 residents turned out to hear the pros and cons at the two-hour forum hosted by the Beaver Creek Regional Council and moderated by the League of Women Voters of Sedona and the Verde Valley.
What they heard was a well-articulated argument on why the school and the community as a whole would benefit from a new multiuse facility and upgrades to the school, and an opposition argument that bordered on an argument in favor.
The audience heard from Superintendent Karin Ward, bond counsel representative Bryan Lundberg, PTO representative Don Leonard, Kiwanis representative Don Rotta and Concerned Citizens representative Jeanette Rodda.
They also heard a presentation on property taxes and assessments from County Assessor Pam Pearsall and representatives from her office.
Ward laid out a history of the school showing that two previous bonds approved by district voters, one in 1972 and one in 1997, had paid for most of the school's 11 buildings and much of the 27 acres of land on which the facility sits.
She also relayed statistics on the school including its enrollment of 300 students plus 48 pre-school age students (and more on a waiting list), the fact that classes average 20 students and that the idea for a new bond came from a school board recommendation based on projected growth and community need.
The proposed bond would be used to build a multiuse facility that would serve as a cafeteria, library and auditorium and multiuse meeting rooms to be used by the school as well as the community at large. Money would also be used to remodel existing buildings to make as many as seven additional classrooms.
Former PTO president Don Leonard and former Kiwanis president Don Rotta both argued in favor of the bond citing a recent graduation crowd that was so large it violated the fire code capacity of the gymnasium, the inadequacy of the current school buildings and a community wide need for public space.
Speaking in opposition, Rodda said she believed there was a need for additional space, citing a correlation between lower class size and better grades. She also said it was her belief the money would be better spent on increased teacher salaries.
However, teacher salaries are determined by the amount of money allocated by the state legislature and the school board's decision on how the maintenance and operating budget is spent. State statute forbids using school bond revenue to pay for teacher salaries.
Most of the audience questions were directed at Lundberg and the representatives of Pearsall's office regarding the way in which property taxes are calculated and the nature of school bonds in general.