Cold Spring sign
Cold Spring School District, which started in-person classes in September, asked voters to approve a $7.8-million bond measure for campus upgrades. Measure L needs more than 55% approval to pass, and fell short in results Tuesday night.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk file photo)

This story was last updated at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Voters in the Cold Spring School District rejected a $7.8-million bond measure for building and classroom upgrades, according to Tuesday night’s semi-official election results. 

Measure L2020 needs at least 55% voter approval to pass, and results showed 52.2% of residents in Montecito’s elementary school district had voted in favor of the bond measure and 47.8% were opposed, according to the Santa Barbara County Elections Office.

The county released several reports of updated numbers Tuesday night, which included mail-in ballots and precinct ballots.

A property owner within the boundaries of the district would pay about 1.3 cents per $100 of assessed value if the bond measure is approved by voters. That would provide an average of $527,525 in funding annually while bonds are outstanding.

Cold Spring School, located at 2243 Sycamore Canyon Road in Montecito, is a public elementary school that serves about 170 students in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade.

Voters within the school district boundaries were asked if the district should be authorized to issue and sell bonds of up to $7.8 million to provide financing for school facilities projects, according to the ballot statement. 

According to ballot language, Measure L2020 funds would replace aging, deteriorating portable buildings with new science, engineering, technology and art classrooms, as well as repair classroom buildings, roofs, sewer and water lines, restrooms, and plumbing. 

Additionally, funding would provide safe drinking water, improve fire alarms and sprinklers, campus safety emergency communications, and retain and attract quality teachers, the ballot language stated.

Measure L bonds would pay to replace two aging portable buildings by constructing at least three permanent classrooms, according to the ballot measure. 

The bond expenditures would be monitored by an independent citizens’ bond oversight committee, according to the ballot statement.

No funds would be used for teacher or school administrators’ salaries and pensions, or other school operating expenses, according to the ballot language. The initiative requires an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the bond proceeds have been expended only on the projects outlined in the ballot measure.

Goleta School District Bond Measure

Goleta Union School District‘s $80-million bond measure to upgrade facilities and classrooms was well on its way to passing in semi-official election night results.

Measure M2020 had 71.5% approval, according to unofficial election results, which included more than 28,000 ballots counted Tuesday night.

“It looks like voters overwhelmingly threw their support behind Measure M,” Susan Epstein, vice president of the district Board of Trustees, told Noozhawk. “They voted ‘yes’ on investing in our schools, our communities and our children.

“With the passage of Measure M, we can prioritize equity and facilities and technology across the Goleta Union School District, address infrastructure needs at our school sites, and add renewable energy throughout the school district.”

The funds would allow upgrades to labs and technology, repairs to classrooms, facilities, roofs and plumbing, and improvements such as accessibility and increases to renewable energy, according to the ballot measure language. 

Measure M2020 requires more than 55% of in-district voters’ approval to pass.

The initiative would cost homeowners an estimated property tax levy of $19.31 per $100,000 in assessed value.

Specific projects to be funded by the bond measure include upgrading temporary portable classrooms, drinking fountain improvements and electrical infrastructure upgrades, as well as modernizing classrooms and school facilities. 

The measure requires an independent citizen oversight committee and mandatory annual audits, plus bond funds must be used for projects stated in the official ballot language.

“We are so thrilled with the early results showing tremendous support for Measure M,” Goleta Union School District Superintendent Donna Lewis said via email. “This will ensure a bright future for our students who will benefit from vital STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) experiences in well-maintained facilities.

“We extend our enthusiastic thanks to our caring community, as well as parents, staff, trustees, and to those volunteers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes on this initiative,” she continued.

The Goleta Union School District serves more than 3,570 elementary students across 10 schools. Three schools in the district host district transitional kindergartens, three state preschools are located at district facilities, and four schools receive schoolwide Title I assistance.

The Goleta Union School District and the Cold Spring Elementary School District are the only school districts in Santa Barbara County with bond measures on the Nov. 3 election ballot.

Unofficial election results are still developing and are likely to change as more ballots are received and processed on Tuesday night and the days afterward. 

Ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can arrive at the Santa Barbara County Elections Office by Nov. 20 and be counted.

County election results are typically finalized and certified several weeks after an election. The Board of Supervisors certified the March 3 election results on April 21, seven weeks later.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Brooke Holland, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @NoozhawkNews

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.