Cottonwood-Oak Creek proceeds with capital bond discussions

Cottonwood-Oak Creek Superintendent Barbara U’Ren: “COCSD students are using outdated textbooks, equipment is failing and the average age of our bus fleet (is) 23 years.”

Cottonwood-Oak Creek Superintendent Barbara U’Ren: “COCSD students are using outdated textbooks, equipment is failing and the average age of our bus fleet (is) 23 years.”

COTTONWOOD -- The $18-million capital bond voters likely will decide in November is entering its second worksession, to be held Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Cottonwood-Oak Creek District office, said Superintendent Barbara U'Ren.

"COCSD students are using outdated textbooks, equipment is failing and the average age of our bus fleet (is) 23 years," U'Ren said. "In essence, the dollars just don't stretch far enough."

In five years, the district's $1.2 million budget for maintaining facilities and purchasing expensive, long-term items like buses has been reduced to $220,000.

These funds stretch across seven sites for critical upgrades, and is the single source to provide students with needed supplies.

The public will be able to provide input at two hearings on June 24, with a vote by the school board to follow. U'Ren said the district is also conducting "comprehensive survey with of our community."

Two presentations explaining the district's capital needs can be found on the district website, U'Ren said.

COCSD's last capital bond was issued in the early '90s. U'Ren said the district has been debt-free for five years.

"It is our goal to provide our students and staff with a safe, efficient and appropriate learning environment and provide our community with facilities and grounds that they can utilize and of which they can be proud," she said.

The Mingus Union High School District is pursuing capital override funds this November, a process business manager Kirk Waddle said will be run in conjunction with COCSD.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @ymgonzal and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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