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$350M bond measure for BVSD passes

Voters approved a capital improvement bond issue for the Boulder Valley School District.
Boulder Valley School District

Voters have passed Boulder Valley School District Issue 5A, according to unofficial election results released Tuesday night.

The ballot issue asked voters whether the district’s debt should be increased by $350 million, with a repayment cost that can’t exceed $714 million, for school repairs, infrastructure upgrades, asbestos removal, ADA expansion, energy efficiency upgrades and safety improvements.

The measure requires property tax increases up to $32 million annually. For a home valued at $600,000, the bond is expected to add $9.83 a month in property taxes.

Unofficial results for BVSD Issue 5A:

*As of 10:40 p.m. Tuesday

  • Yes: 48,123
  • No: 23,637

One of the larger projects in the bond measure is rebuilding New Vista High School in Boulder, said Kathy Gebhardt, president of the Boulder Valley school board.

“I actually went there when it was Base Line Junior High, and it looks the same,” Gebhardt said. “It really needs to be rebuilt. It’s reached a point where it’s less expensive to rebuild it than to basically try to fix everything that’s wrong with it.”

Rebuilding New Vista High School is expected to cost $36 million.

Another project will include building a $41 million elementary school in Erie’s new Parkdale subdivision.

“Meadowlark School is already at capacity, so if we don’t build this school, we’ll be educating students in trailers,” Gebhardt explained.

The bond measure also includes expanding career technical education opportunities at all high schools in the district.

“Having vibrant, state-of-the-art schools is an asset to the community,” Gebhardt said. “We’re going to need students who are trained in healthcare, auto mechanics, construction trades — I think we’re seeing how important those trades are to the vibrancy of the community.”

The bond will also go to maintenance and repairs on HVAC systems, repaving parking lots and making playgrounds ADA accessible.

Gebhardt said she realizes the bond measure is asking a lot of taxpayers, who are still recovering from the Marshall fire and the pandemic.

“We have a community that lost a thousand homes, and there are a lot of very meritorious requests on the ballot, and so we know it’s a big lift because right now inflation is really high and people’s budgets are being stretched,” she said. “So we understand it’s a really big ask, but it’s really the only way we can do this.”