Cave Creek residents will vote on three school ballot measures in November’s election. The Cave Creek Unified School District board on Wednesday night approved placing a bond issue, a capital override and a possible lease of school land up for public approval.
The board also announced its intent to hire Tacy Ashby, deputy superintendent of public instruction in the Arizona Department of Education, as the district’s superintendent. She would replace Superintendent John Gordon, who plans to leave the district when his contract ends June 30.
The first ballot initiative the board approved would ask voters to let the school district lease out 40 acres of land near district headquarters.
The Sonoran Desert Center for the Arts is hoping to rent the land for a cultural arts village, which would include a 2,000-seat performing arts center, a recital hall, educational classrooms, art galleries and a restaurant, said the center’s chairman Arch Rambeau. Construction would cost more than $60 million, paid for by center patrons.
Board members also authorized a ballot question that would fund a $4.75 million aquatic center adjacent to the Desert Foothills YMCA and Community Center, near the intersection of the Carefree Highway and 60th Street.
The pool would be maintained by the YMCA, but initial construction costs would be funded by a 3-cent tax increase, said Tom Elliott, the district’s assistant superintendent for administrative services.
Finally, the board approved a capital override election that would pay for student instructional and technological needs. It would cost taxpayers $2.3 million annually for seven years.
The board refused to authorize a $20 million bond issue for constructing school and administration buildings and improving buses. Several board members stated that four ballot initiatives would have been a hard to sell to voters.
In other actions, the board approved a $68 million budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year that would decrease the Cave Creek tax rate by nearly 6 percent.