SIERRA VISTA — As the Sierra Vista Unified School District’s Bond Sub-Committee wrapped up its duties on Thursday, members, district and local businesses reflect on the project’s progress and contribution to students’ education.

Using bond dollars, SVUSD contracted 49 local businesses to complete the upgrades.

“We were contracted to install the plumbing and fire sprinkler systems at the new multi-purpose room (MPR) at Village Meadows School, the new classroom and MPR (building) at PDS School, and the new practice Gym at Buena High School,” said Scott Harvey, General Manager of Harvey Plumbing in Sierra Vista in an email.

Jack Blair, Chief Member Services Officer for Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) said the company was tasked with constructing, disconnecting and relocating electricity lines during the various construction projects.

“We had to move some lines or de-energize some lines while they did some work. Or relocate some lines,” said Blair. “We managed to complete it ahead of time ...We had a couple of people sit on the bond review committee and we had a few people that helped to get it on the ballot and campaign for it on their own time.”

The Herald/Review reached out to SVUSD administration and the bond sub-committee for comment, but they did not respond as of publication.

A brief history

According to SVUSD’s webpage about the bond, AZ architect design firm Orcutt Winslow analyzed the conditions of SVUSD’s campuses in 2016 and concluded that the district needed over $25 million dollars worth of repairs and renovations.

In May of that year, the SVUSD governing board called for a bond referendum to be placed on the November ballot.

The $28,870,000 initiative was placed on the 2016 ballot and passed with 55% of Sierra Vista voters voting yes and 45% voting no.

SVUSD Public Information Officer Valerie Weller said the district received a premium bond adjustment of $85,054 due to higher interest rate in 2016 when the bond passed, thus increasing the bond total to $28,955,054.

The $28 million has been assigned into various maintenance, construction, transportation and technology upgrades throughout the district.

Completed projects

Transportation

For the first bond sale, the district has purchased $3,034,350 for new transportation vehicles including: ten 84-passenger Blue Bird buses, five special needs buses, three vehicles (car, SUV and minivan), four mini-buses and one bus lift. In the second bond sale in 2019, the district purchased two 55-passenger special needs buses, nine 84-passenger Blue Bird buses and one 48-passenger special needs bus for $1,819,342.83. Maintenance and construction

A estimated total of $7,360,000 on the first bond sale was spent on various maintenance and construction projects throughout the district including: upgraded water fountains, roof recoating at Bella Vista, new HVAC units at Carmichael and Joyce Clark Middle School (JCMS), ADA bathrooms and a new multi-purpose building at Village Meadows Elementary.

Technology

The district also purchased $6,623,620 for information technology, including the purchase of Chromebooks for all eight sites: 2,200 for Buena High School, 880 for JCMS, 540 for Bella Vista, 612 for Carmichael, 864 for Huachuca Mountain, 756 for Pueblo del Sol (PDS), 540 for Town and Country and 756 for Village Meadows.

In-progress and future projects

The district has spent $28,428,408 of the total, which leaves $436,646 for remaining “in-progress” projects and $90,000 for bond maintenance.

Maintenance and construction

Carmichael, Pueblo del Sol, Town & Country and Village Meadows elementary schools are slated to receive renovations to their ADA bathrooms.

New HVAC units will be throughout the district, with the exception of Carmichael Elementary and JCMS who’ve already received the replacement.

In addition to flooring and roofing repairs, the district has also funneled bond dollars towards a new practice gym for Buena High School and a prop building area for the theatre students. The total cost for both is $3,387,000.

“We were also contracted to replace multiple drinking fountains at schools throughout the district, including new bottle fillers,” said Harvey. “We also did plumbing renovations in existing restrooms at Carmichael, Pueblo del Sol, Town and Country, and Village Meadows.”

Added on to Pueblo del Sol Elementary School (PDS), will be a new multi-purpose room complete with a stage and four classrooms. The add-on was budgeted at $2,460,000. The district noted on their webpage about the project that the total cost for the multi-purpose building is likely to increase with the installation of utilities.

Final thoughts

As the projects near completion, local businesses look back with relief.

“I think the project was certainly needed, and the end result is much-needed improvements to district facilities,” said Harvey. “As a contractor who worked on these projects, we certainly believe that the money was well-spent and will be a benefit to our City and our School District for years to come.”

Blair said that he hopes the upgrades in the district from the bond dollars helps SVUSD students and faculty.

“Like everybody else, SSVEC is excited that it’s finished,” said Blair. “It’s going to be hopefully better for our students and the faculty, and we’re happy that it’s coming to completion.”