ANTIOCH -- The second chance was a charm for a property tax to modernize Antioch High School.
Voters in the older part of the city went to the polls this week and decided to pay an additional $50 in property tax each year to modernize Antioch High School.
More than 61 percent of voters supported Measure B, pushing it well past the 55 percent approval it needed to pass.
The $56.5 million school bond measure will modernize the well-worn 58-year-old school.
"I'm just so excited for the students of this community and the parents. It's going to be a great shot in the arm for Antioch," said Maria Myers, Antioch High's parent coordinator. "It's just surreal; I don't think it's sunk in yet."
Needs identified at Antioch High that will be covered with money from Measure B include a larger cafeteria; new and reconfigured classrooms that better suit the school's aim to create learning groups, including math, science and computer labs; repairs to hallways and other aging structures; a new library and media center; and renovated sports facilities, including a new pool and locker rooms.
This week's approval comes on the heels of a similar measure failing by just 31 votes in June. Because of the narrow defeat, Antioch Unified decided to bring a ballot initiative back to voters in the area identified as School Facilities Improvement District 1, this time just putting the money toward Antioch High.
"To see the first numbers come in strong, it was exhilarating. It wasn't going to be as painful as last time, and watching it slip into the night," Myers said.
Nearly early twice as many registered voters cast their ballots for Measure B in this week's election than in June.
Now that voters have approved the bond, tax bills to retire school bonds will double from about $56 per $100,000 to about $106 in 2014, and reach about $125 by 2026. For a home assessed at a current average of $142,714, that's $179.41 a year.
The Measure B bonds would be paid off by 2044. It would include an independent citizens oversight committee, and no funds would be spent on administrators.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.