SAN LEANDRO — When the school board on Tuesday unanimously approved a $50 million bond measure for improving school sports facilities, the audience erupted into applause.
If 55 percent of voters pass the measure Nov. 2, the bond will fund the renovation of the district's Pacific Sports Complex, which includes the aging Burrell Field, a new pool at San Leandro High School and other sports facilities improvements at district schools.
The bond would be paid for with an estimated tax rate of $25 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
At the well-attended school board meeting Tuesday night, all speakers during public comment supported the bond measure. Several young swimmers from San Leandro's Drowning Darryls youth swim team cited the importance of saving the pool, which the Alameda County Department of Health has given a deadline of January 2012 to either rebuild or shut down.
Anthony and Adrian Davis, 11 and 9 years old, respectively, and both swimmers on the Drowning Darryls, told the board that the pool offers them a place for exercise, friendship and recreation.
"It means a lot," their father, Desmond Davis, said of the bond measure. "It's infrastructure for our youth, fundamentally."
Mayoral candidate Stephen Cassidy, a former trustee on the school board, also spoke in favor of the bond.
"This board has managed its money well," he told the school board. He asked for a quality stadium at Burrell Field with showers, so that the facility could be rented out for events to generate income.
Cassidy was at a City Council meeting the night before speaking out against a November ballot measure to increase the city's sales tax to 10 percent. He denounced the council for fiscal irresponsibility. The council passed the sales tax ballot measure 6-1.
San Leandro voters have approved two bond measures in recent years that have funded various building projects at the city's schools. Measure A was approved in 1997, providing $53 million for a science and technology wing at San Leandro High School, a John Muir Middle School academic wing, shop renovation and expansion at Bancroft Middle School, and several other modernization projects. Measure B was approved in 2006, providing $109 million that has funded such projects as the high school's new ninth-grade Fred T. Korematsu Campus and the Arts Education Center.