The School Board is expected to take the first step Thursday in selling its second series of bonds to improve school facilities, and higher property taxes will result.

As they prepare to sell $10 million in bonds, school district officials will ask the Board to approve an increase in the property tax - something that was approved by voters when they passed a $25 million bond measure in 2008 to improve and modernize school facilities.

If that happens, property tax bills for December will be moved closer to what the district had estimated in 2008: $55 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

"If you had a $200,000 home, the additional tax would be $110 per year," said Superintendent Don Olson. "You would pay $55 in December and $55 in April. It's an additional tax."

However, Deputy Superintendent Jeff Caldwell said he doesn't think the increased tax amount will come close to the $55 figure.

The Board is expected to give final approval to the sale of the $10 million worth of bonds at its Sept. 26 meeting.

The district is currently conducting a schools facility study to determine what projects should be completed using the bond money, Olson said. Projects the district would like to start include replacing a wing of modular buildings with fixed structures at Del Norte High School. Nearly every school in the district is also in need of a paint job, Olson said.

"They are quite expensive," he said. "Just the rough estimate to paint Crescent Elk is $200,000. It's an extensive building preparation."

The community will have a chance to weigh in on how the $10 million bond should be spent, Olson said. Officials would like to get started next summer.

So far, the district has used a total of $5 million in bond funding to pay for classroom and facility renovations, including Smith River School's new gymnasium. Bond money was also used to revamp the district's information technology infrastructure.

The new gym used up about $3 million of the original $5 million. Even though the school held its eighth-grade graduation in the building last June, the floor is still unfinished, Olson said.

The district is waiting on a moisture barrier, which will seal the gym floor's concrete foundation, Olson said. The wood floor is expected to arrive from Michigan in the next three weeks, he said.

The Smith River gym committee hopes to hold a grand opening by Dec. 1, Olson said.

The Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Trustees meets at 4:30 p.m. in the Education Center Building at 301 W. Washington Boulevard in Crescent City. Agendas are available at

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