Bond program is transforming schools

Posted: Thursday, March 17th 2016

Construction at Pershing Middle School

The teaching and learning environment in San Diego Unified School District has improved significantly since the passage of Propositions S (2008) and Z (2012). Not only do all K-12 students in district schools have access to 21st century technology via individual computing devices, but 5,477 classrooms have interactive white boards, audio-visual systems and other technology that enhances teaching and learning.

In addition, all schools are being air conditioned, will have at least one turf field, and will undergo site modernization projects to improve their campuses. Pershing Middle School recently underwent a whole site modernization project that provided upgrades throughout the campus. In addition to other campus-wide renovations, the front of the school received major upgrades including a new ramp to improve accessibility, new fencing to increase safety and security, new drought-tolerant landscaping and improvements to the parking lot. For more details on the project at Pershing and other school bond projects, visit

San Diego Unified’s capital improvement bond program, which has had successful financial and performance audits, has expended more than $1.06 billion of its $5.1 billion budget. Of its major construction projects, the district has approximately 50 in the design and bid phase, nearly 20 in construction and more than 100 completed.

The completed projects include permanent classroom buildings to replace old temporary classrooms, state-of-the-art College, Career & Technical Education facilities for programs such as sustainable technologies, engineering, business administration, business academies, broadcast journalism, graphic production, culinary arts, automotive technology and more. The bonds also funded upgrades for athletic facilities that had not been improved for several decades, as well as the installation of air conditioning in two of the district’s three climate zones.

Proposition Z is a $2.8 billion in general obligation bond measure approved by nearly 62 percent of the San Diego voters on Nov. 6, 2012. Proposition S is a $2.1 billion general obligation bond measure approved by nearly 69 percent of the voters on Nov. 4, 2008.

The district does not receive all of its Propositions S and Z proceeds at once. It receives them incrementally based on the frequency of bond issuances, which are conducted during the life of the capital improvement bond program. The bond issuances are structured so that the useful life of assets matched the maturity of bonds. Technology projects have shorter term bonds, while construction projects have longer term bonds. To learn more about the bond program, visit the Facilities Bond Program webpage at

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