October 26, 2004
The Scottsdale Unified School District governing board placed a $217 million bond package on the Nov. 2 ballot to pay for buildings and repairs at the district’s high schools and purchase airconditioned school buses.
The bond proceeds would be divided among these projects: $42.1 million rebuilding most of Arcadia High School, $45.2 million rebuilding most of Coronado High School, $47.2 million renovating and rebuilding Chaparral High School, $45 million renovating and rebuilding Saguaro High School, $3 million improving Desert Mountain High School, $4 million completing construction on Sierra Vista Academy, $6.2 million to purchase 70 new climate-controlled school buses, and about $24 million in contingencies and for purchasing land to expand schools.
The issue has divided the community. Parents in the southern area of the city want schools renovated. District officials maintain that rebuilding the schools will save money in repairs and utilities. Maintaining Arcadia, Chaparral, Coronado and Saguaro will cost $130 million over the next 10 years; rebuilding them will cost $179 million.
Parents in the north want a neighborhood high school. Currently, about 400 high school students are bused from the far north past Desert Mountain High School to Chaparral and Saguaro high schools, 10 or more miles south of their homes. Many parents believe the drive on Loop 101 is unsafe. Those students must also arrange transportation in order to participate in many afterschool activities.