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Voters pass Wilson School bond

Voters in Wilmar Union School District on Tuesday appear to have approved a bond measure that is expected to raise about $4 million for upgrades and renovations to Wilson School.

"It's great because it's going to allow us to do all the things we really have to do to our school to make it a better environment, health-wise and safety-wise," said a pleased Superintendent Eric Hoppes on Wednesday morning, attributing the success to local support for schools and especially Wilson school, which he said has a special place in the hearts of many who attended over the years.

With all precincts reporting, the measure had received 62.3 percent of the vote Wednesday morning; 55 percent was needed for the measure to pass.

Wilson School serves about 225 children from grades kindergarten to sixth in the rural area immediately west of Petaluma. Measure P will issue bonds to renovate the roughly 50-year-old school on Bodega Avenue. The district includes approximately 2,000 registered voters.

Hoppes said in an earlier interview that Wilson — the only school in the Wilmar district — is in dire need of upgrades to ensure a healthy, safe and handicap accessible environment.

Many features of the school, he said, haven't been replaced since it was built about half a century ago. That includes windows that let in drafty air in the winter, tile floors and bathrooms that after 50 years don't ever really come clean, and a lack of handicap accessible facilities.

Specific projects may include, among others: renovating, repairing or building new classrooms and restrooms, rehabilitating playgrounds and physical education fields, updating plumbing, heating, ventilation, and electrical systems, adding energy efficient systems like solar panels and new windows, upgrading fire alarm and security systems, and upgrading and equipping labs.

The bonds will be issued as various projects are undertaken and will mature within 40 years of the date issued. The district will levy an additional property tax to pay for the bonds, estimated at about three cents per $100 of valuation, or $90 for a parcel valued at $300,000.

(Contact Jamie Hansen at jamie.hansen@argus courier.com.)


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