Officials Expect Schools Bond Issue to Pass : Education: The Saugus district wants to use the $10.2-million measure to build 2 new campuses and avoid layoffs.


Saugus Union School District officials are predicting passage of a $10.2-million bond measure June 8 that they say will prevent layoffs of 100 part-time employees and provide money to build two schools.

Supt. Troy Bramlett said the new schools are needed because of growth in the 6,000-student district. He said the bond money will also be used to solve a chronic cash-flow problem that occurs at the end of each year when the district dips into its reserves for between $700,000 and $800,000.

Bramlett said he feels that the community, which has raised $20,000 for pro-bond measure advertising, understands the need. “We’re really confident,” he said.


Measure S would issue a 25-year bond, under which homeowners would be charged $1 a month for every $100,000 worth of assessed valuation of their homes.

Passage of the measure requires a two-thirds majority, and Bramlett said the district expects a turnout of 5,000 to 6,000 voters.

If the bond issue fails, Bramlett said the district’s 10 elementary schools must cut $70,000 each out of their budgets. Part-time personnel would bear the brunt of those cuts. Bramlett said that about 100 classroom aides, as well as music teachers, computer specialists, librarians and others, would have to be let go.

The district also might have to start charging a busing fee, Bramlett said. No figure has been discussed, but Bramlett said the Newhall School District’s $200 annual fee per student might be used as a model.

“It’s extremely important that we get the support of the community for this issue,” said board member Marilynn Blaylock, referring to the bond measure. If it fails, she said, “we’re going to have to make definite cuts into the classrooms.”

Revenue from the bond would immediately pay off debts on existing district buildings, freeing up $700,000 per year that would have gone into interest payments. The district has a $22-million operating budget.


The bond “gives us two schools that are neighborhood schools, prevents the need for multitrack and reduces the need for busing,” Bramlett said.

Area housing developers have provided the necessary land for the two schools.

Paragon Homes and Davidon Homes donated seven acres for the proposed Seco Canyon School, to be located at the end of Cypress Avenue. The second school site, on Plum Canyon Road near Wellston Drive, is also about seven acres and has been reserved for the district by S&S; Homes.

Each school will house about 700 students.

“If I can do it with relocatables, I can build them for $5 million apiece,” said Bramlett. He said the first school will be built immediately. The other will wait until the district reaches projected growth.

Bramlett said the district has tried to build community support by sending notices home with students, meeting with neighborhood groups, and sending volunteer workers door-to-door.

Blaylock said there has been no organized opposition to Measure S. No opposing statements were filed for the election’s sample ballot.

Recent bond elections in the Santa Clarita Valley have had mixed results.

The Castaic Union School District succeeded in passing a $20-million bond measure March 2 for new construction, while two attempts by the Newhall School District in 1991 to pass a $20-million bond failed.