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$125-million school bond to appear on November ballot in Lompoc

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 15, 2022

On Tuesday night, the Lompoc Unified School District's Board of Education approved a resolution for a general obligation bond that will be voted on this November.

If passed, homeowners would be paying $60 for every $100,000 in assessed property value. For a home valued at $500,000, that equates to around $300 a year.

The Lompoc Unified School District contains about 9,800 students across 16 campuses. Doug Sorum, Lompoc Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, says it has been nearly 20 years since the last general obligation bond was passed for the district, which means many campus facilities have become outdated.

"As you go around the schools, what you see is that the roof, the windows, and the doors leak, many of the furnaces are still outdated. There is no air conditioning in the classroom for the students," Sorum admitted. "With the exception of a few rooms, the student furniture is largely the same as when I went to these schools."

He says the measure is being introduced to help give Lompoc Unified students access to the same opportunities given to other kids up and down the state. Sorum adds that an approved measure would bring forth additional benefits as well.

"Updating the schools protects property values and it doesn't matter if you have kids in school. It also makes the community a place where young families and small businesses want to relocate to," Sorum continued.

If the measure passes this November, Lompoc Unified says they will start by picking out the areas of improvement that are most dire and then begin estimating the costs and time frames for renovation.

"I've lived here all my life and went to Lompoc schools and they are near and dear to my heart. So I think it would be a great idea," Lompoc resident and former preschool teacher Becky Parkins told KSBY.

However, Sorum says there is some opposition to this measure.

"There is a substantial portion of the community which is retired and their children are older. And so, some of them felt that 'my children are out of school, this won't benefit us,'" said Doug Sorum, Lompoc Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.

Some other Lompoc residents we spoke with who wanted to remain anonymous said they worry they would be paying for something that wouldn't actually be effective in improving schools. Meanwhile, the district says the $125-million in bonds that will be on November's ballot would likely fund school improvement projects for the next five years.

In order for the measure to pass, the state requires a voter approval of 55%, plus one.

School bond measures were also on the ballot in Lompoc back in 2018 but neither passed.