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Antioch High School environmental science teacher Rick Barton shows his support for Measure B prior to the start of class in Antioch, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Measure B is a $56.5 million band measure to improve Antioch High School. (Kristopher Skinner/Staff)

Antioch High is getting a much-sought makeover.

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.

"This is a great day for Antioch High School," Principal Louie Rocha said. "I was really excited to see the community come out in support of this school and place priority in our children. It was refreshing to see."

"We're ecstatic," said Dylan Howell, an English teacher at the school. "The fear going in was that there were too many tax measures on the ballot, but it goes to show that the Antioch community, given the chance, wanted to support education."

Needs identified at Antioch High that will be covered with Measure B money 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.

"In June, it fell behind early and was never able to catch up. It was uplifting to see it get off to a great start early," Rocha said.

Nearly early twice as many registered voters cast their ballots for Measure B in this week's election than in June.

Many in the community were almost apologetic for not voting in June, Rocha said.

"I think that resonated in action Tuesday night," he said. "Whether people had little ones or not, all and all the overall viewpoint was something needed to happen."

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.

Tim Forrester, the district's associate superintendent of business services, said bids will go out for architects for the project later this week.

Construction could start next summer and would take about four to five years, as various parts of the campus are renovated, Forrester said. School would remain open during the process.

"Not only will this help remodel the high school, but it will have a positive impact on the local economy as well," Forrester said.

Measure B bonds will be paid off by 2044. It includes provisions for an independent citizens oversight committee, and no funds will be spent on administrators.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.