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Fremont schools: $157 million school bond spent properly, oversight panel says

FREMONT — The panel overseeing a $157 million bond measure says the school district spent the money properly to upgrade its aging 42 campuses, completing the promised work on time and under budget.

The health and safety bond that voters approved in 2002 paid for renovating Fremont’s schools over the past decade, including seismic retrofits, improved plumbing and heating systems, roofing repairs, and safety upgrades for playgrounds, electrical wiring, and automobile traffic, the oversight committee said at a school board meeting last week.

Recent refinancing, and interest earned on bond sales, gave the district more money for added renovations, pushing total expenses to $173 million, according to the committee’s report. The additional school projects included paving new parking areas, replacing a walkway cover, installing a library air conditioning system and renovating Valhalla Theater at Irvington High, the district’s only performing arts school.

“We showed the citizens of Fremont that the board and the district can be fiscally responsible,” said Peggy Herndon, an oversight committee member and a former school board trustee. “And we’re looking at having the same success with the next bond.”

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Chris DeBenedetti