Proposed School Facilities Improvement Bond » Proposed School Facilities Improvement Bond FAQ

Proposed School Facilities Improvement Bond FAQ

Hermosa Valley School
Although our schools appear to be in good shape based on student achievements, our school facilities need to be improved. Faced with aging classrooms and the need to bring school facilities up to current technology, safety, and educational standards, the Hermosa Beach City School District Board of Education is considering placing a general obligation bond measure on the upcoming November 2024 ballot. If approved, funds would be used to modernize and renovate our schools.


Here is a presentation with some information and concepts that were shared in the community meetings in April 2024.


Proposed School Facilities Improvement Bond FAQ

The following information is provided to assist voters in understanding the facts behind the proposed measure and how its passage will affect the District and our community.

What is the proposed measure?

The proposed measure is a $28.7 million general obligation (G.O.) bond program. The measure is intended to address the needs of the local student population through new construction, modernization, and renovation projects at the District’s three schools.

What is a G.O. bond?

G.O. bonds fund projects such as the renovation of classrooms and school facilities, as well as construction of new schools and classrooms. Similar to a home loan, G.O. bonds are typically repaid over 30 years. The loan repayment comes from a tax on all taxable property - residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial - located within the District’s boundaries.

Why is the District considering placing a measure on the ballot?

While classrooms and school facilities have been well maintained, Hermosa Valley School is older, and educational and safety standards have changed over the years. Like all aging facilities, our infrastructure requires modernization and upgrades. Health, safety, and security improvements need to be made at all sites. Renovations to meet the technology needs of 21st-century classrooms are needed throughout the district.

Why can’t the District meet its facilities needs with its current budget?

Today, the scope of improvements needed at the Hermosa Beach City School District is far more than the current funding sources available. The per-pupil funding that the District receives from the state is intended to be used for the day-to-day business of educating children and not for major upgrades, renovations, modernization projects, or new classrooms and facilities.

How did the District develop the project list for the proposed measure?

Over the last several months, with input from staff, teachers, parents, community leaders, safety experts, and an architect, the District has prepared a School Facilities Needs Analysis. The Needs Analysis identifies the major repairs and upgrades that need to be made.

Specific projects identified include:

  • Constructing new science labs at Hermosa Valley School (Grades 5-8) 
  • Modernizing and renovating outdated classrooms and restrooms
  • Upgrading inadequate electrical systems, including network speed and security
  • Making health and handicapped accessibility improvements
  • Improving playfields and facilities for school and community use
  • Safety improvements at all three school campuses, including improving traffic flow and student drop off/pick up at Valley School

What will happen if the proposed measure does not pass?

If the measure does not pass, our classrooms and school facilities will continue to deteriorate. In addition, funds that would otherwise go to classroom instruction will be needed to make critical safety repairs and improvements at each school. Major repairs will need to be postponed and as a result will potentially be more expensive to make.

What will the proposed measure cost?

The measure will not increase the tax rate local property owners are currently paying. Instead, it will extend the current tax rate property owners are paying from prior voter approved elections in 2002 and 2014.

How can I be sure that funds will be spent on improving our local schools?

By law, all bond funds have to be spent locally and cannot be taken by the state. In addition, a local independent citizens’ oversight committee will be established to ensure that bond funds are properly spent. Also, by law, there must be annual audits of expenditures, and no bond money can be used for teacher or administrative salaries. The School District is committed to a policy of full transparency and accountability.

How long will it take and what would the phases/order look like? How disruptive will this be?

We won’t have precise timelines until we finish final designs if and when a Bond measure is passed, but we would expect this to take 2-3 years as we seek to minimize school disruption. We would like to do as much of the work as possible in off-times (summer, school vacations).

Are residents still paying for the previous bonds?  How many years will we pay for this bond?

Yes. The Election of 2002 bond authorization’s last payment is 2030, and the Election of 2014 authorization’s last payment is 2049. Thanks to the recent increase in assessed tax values, we are ahead of schedule in paying prior bonds back. The Election of 2024 authorization’s last payment is projected in 2053 or just an additional four years.  

How do we compare with our neighboring districts? 

Hermosa Beach City School District has one of the lowest tax rates in Los Angeles County and the South Bay. Compare our tax rate this year of $34.95 to Wiseburn USD’s (El Segundo) tax rate of $153.07, Beverly Hills USD’s $98.59, Manhattan Beach USD’s $87.96, Inglewood USD’s $78.81, and Redondo Beach USD’s $72.34. Only PVPUSD had a lower rate than ours at $23.83.

How will these improvements help Hermosa students prep for high school? 

Improving our science facilities, ensuring a safe, well-maintained campus, and providing comparable sports facilities ensure that our students can learn in the best possible environment. These upgrades will bring our middle school and the rest of our campuses on par with our neighbors while providing improvements that will benefit our whole community.