The Mountain View Los Altos High School District (MVLA) Board of Trustees Feb. 5 approved a $295-million bond measure to fund new construction and renovation costs outlined in the district's Facilities Master Plan. The approval means the bond measure will go on the June 5 ballot. It needs at least a 55 percent majority to pass.
Officials cite overcrowding at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools due to sustained enrollment growth as a reason for the bond measure. In the coming years, high-density housing projects in the North Bayshore and East Whisman area are forecast to further increase enrollment by 500-1,000 students.
“Our high schools rank amongst the best in the state and the nation, yet years of sustained enrollment growth mean we face significant classroom overcrowding,” said MVLA Superintendent Jeff Harding in a statement. “We welcome every new student and want to provide each of them with an excellent learning environment, friendly campus and exemplary education. This is an ambitious and exciting effort to create campuses for today’s and future generations.”
If approved, the bond measure will allow the district to issue and sell bonds in order to finance facilities projects. It is not to exceed a tax rate of $30 per $100,000 assessed property valuation (not market value).
The bond will have citizen oversight and audits. Proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized by the proposed bond measure will be used only for the construction, reconstruction, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, and the acquisition or lease of school facilities. Money raised with the bond measure would not be for any other purpose, including teacher and administrator salaries and other school operating expenses.
Key elements of the facilities plan include the new or expanded performing arts and athletic facilities, STEM classrooms and labs, food services and dining areas, and student unions. A new Freestyle Academy facility is proposed to replace the aging portables currently being used. The plan also includes an optional $30 million budget for additional classrooms if student enrollment continues to grow in the coming decade.
“We have been working on a solution for more than a year, seeking expert advice and teachers and community input. Developing this plan for the future of our schools is a community-driven process and the outcome will serve generations of local students,” Harding said. “We will continue to communicate with the community through the bond campaign and beyond.”