NATOMAS (CBS13) — A decade after construction halts on a new high school in Natomas, the school district wants property owners to pay up again.
Voters approved a bond measure in 2006 to fund the high-school campus, but it was never completed. Now, there’s a new push to finish what’s been started.
Neighbors in the area say they had high hopes for the high school, but after paying higher property taxes for it and still nothing to show, many are unwilling to shell out any more money.
It’s a reminder of a broken promise more than a decade old
Natomas homeowner Brad Meyers said, “I’m not real happy about it.”
Towering behind overgrown weeds and littered with graffiti and broken windows, stands the shell of what was supposed to be a brand new high school in Natomas, called the East Natomas Education Center. It was the selling point for Meyers and his family.
“Thirteen years ago, we purchased this property with the sole intent of going to that school.”
In 2006, Sacramento County voters passed Measure G, a $230-million bond measure to upgrade schools in what was then known as the Grant Joint Union High School District. Construction started right away on the future East Natomas Education Center, but the state of the art campus was abandoned.
Twin Rivers Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Bill McGuire said, “It had a lot to do with the recession, it had a lot to do with the unification process, it had a lot to do with available funding.”
McGuire is talking about the unification of the Grant Joint Union High School District into Twin Rivers Unified School District. As for the funding, he says the district still doesn’t have it. McGuire says completion of ENEC will cost $44 million.
The district is proposing another bond measure to fund its unfinished business, as well as other projects in schools district-wide, including making many spaces ADA compliant.
Natomas homeowner Todd Lange is already planning for his toddler’s education and while he welcomes a new school, he’s wary.
“It sounds like if they wanted to ask us to vote again, then I’d want more information.”
Twelve years later, the future of the East Natomas Education Center could once again be in the hands of voters.
“They want us to pay more money for another school. I would certainly not been in favor of that,” said Myers.
The amount of the proposed bond measure has yet to be determined. District officials hope to put the measure on the ballot in November.