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By Shawn Raymundo

The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Dec. 12, approved plans to gather the community’s thoughts on whether a bond measure to update educational facilities should be placed on the March 2020 Primary Election ballot.

Over the coming weeks, the board will work with the firm True North Research to conduct surveys and polls of voters in the cities of San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and Dana Point.

Depending on how the voters in those areas respond to the questions, the board will determine whether to move forward with drafting the March 2020 bond measure that, if passed, would authorize funding for capital facility projects.

The priority, said CUSD Chief Communications Officer Ryan Burris, are the schools in San Clemente because they are some of the oldest schools in the district.

“They have the oldest schools and some of them with the greatest needs,” Burris said, adding that “if we looked at some of the younger schools, even like San Juan Hills (High School), they would already have needs, but not at the levels of San Clemente high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in that city.”

The next step in the process, Burris said, is to figure out the types of questions that will be asked in the survey. Essentially the poll is intended to answer whether the residents are ready to support a bond measure and, if so, what areas of the classrooms and school sites they are willing to invest in.

“We would look at things like fire, life, safety. We would probably look at seismic, we would look at plumbing and clean water,” Burris said. “But we would have more of an idea of exactly what the community has felt based on what analysis we saw from the survey.”

Burris said CUSD would like to have the polling done by late January or early February as that would allow the board to begin making decisions on the bond measure by the end of February.

The deadline to file measures for the March 2020 Primary election is Dec. 6, 2019.

The next CUSD board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 at the district’s office, at 33122 Valle Rd., San Juan Capistrano.

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