Columbia bond ready for the vote

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By CLAIRE ST. JOHN

The polls open tomorrow morning at 7 for Columbia residents to decide the fate of Measure G, Columbia Elementary School's $3.6 million bond.

"The bond committee will be phone banking right up to 8 p.m. (today) to encourage people to get out and vote," said Superintendent John Pendley.

The committee has also held community meetings, informational mailings and will offer a free dozen doughnuts to anyone who votes.

The bond would be used to help build out the first phase of the school's master plan, including a multi-use gymnasium with an indoor stage, amphitheater, full-size basketball court, bleachers, warm-up kitchen and a concession area. Those facilities would be available for public use.

Without a gymnasium, school teams play all their games at other schools.

Measure G's passage would also allow the district to improve the safety of the school's Parrotts Ferry Road entrance and exit; expand on-campus parking; and construct an additional exit for buses.

"We're hoping to take away the logjam on Parrotts Ferry Road," Pendley said.

Two permanent classrooms and two additional restrooms also would be added to the Columbia Elementary School campus with bond money.

"The comment we get is that it's a really well thought-out plan," Pendley said.

According to the school's master plan, more permanent buildings will be added to the campus.

Pendley said Columbia School District has not asked the community for a bond in over 20 years.

"They don't even have the last bond on the books in the county, it's been that long," Pendley said.

If passed, the bond will be repaid by an assessment of all property owners in the Columbia School District, regardless of whether they have children attending the school. District residents would pay $59 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year. Measure G must receive a two-thirds vote to pass.

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The Union Democrat
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