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LASD mulls possible November bond measure

With nine school campuses and 10 school programs to house and a number of facilities projects to complete, Los Altos School District officials are gathering information to determine whether a bond measure could pass if included on the November General Election ballot.

A district-hired consulting firm conducted a poll of local residents last week to survey the sorts of projects the public favors and how large a bond they would support. The board of trustees plans to review the results at Monday’s board meeting.

A financial adviser said the financial configuration of the bond is flexible, but that the district should float a bond that totals less than $120 million.

At the district’s April 23 meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Randy Kenyon presented rough estimates of facilities projects remaining from the district’s 1998 bond measure.

“We have a number of things left to do in Phase 2,” Kenyon said. “Some schools did not get multipurpose buildings, and there are a number of portable classrooms to replace with permanent classrooms.”

The cost of implementing the projects at the district’s campuses would total approximately $65 million, an estimate that does not include funds to acquire land or a site or construct a 10th school. Trustees said the district needs a 10th site to house all its students, including those who attend Bullis Charter School.

Projects covered by the proposed November bond would include field restoration at all schools, excluding Blach Intermediate; solar installations at all campuses; and new rooms at Almond (two flexible rooms, five classrooms), Egan Junior High (music room, chorus room, two locker rooms, two classrooms), Gardner Bullis (nine classrooms, one custodial/PTA room), Loyola (two flex, five classrooms, one staff room), Oak (two flex, five classrooms), Santa Rita (two flex, seven classrooms) and Springer (two flex, two classrooms).

The bond project may also include new office space at Gardner Bullis and Oak; new libraries at Gardner Bullis, Loyola, Oak, Santa Rita and Springer; and new multipurpose space at Blach, Egan, Oak and Santa Rita.

“These are some rough estimates of overall costs and how they might be distributed across the various campuses,” Kenyon said.

He added that there are other projects beyond the presentation that might be necessary and noted that costs do not include technology improvements.

Improving communication

Trustees discussed the importance of active communication among the cities of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

“I think that we need to be approaching all of the cities whose populations we serve to see how they can help with the bond measure,” said Trustee Doug Smith.

Trustee Mark Goines agreed, adding that improved communication could aid in the goal of securing a 10th campus.

“It is clear we want to explore identifying a 10th site,” Goines said. “The data is clear that we have more than 1,000 students than we had when the current facilities bond was completed. I think we need a few of our board members to talk to our neighbors so we have consistent communication.”

The board voted to designate Trustees Steve Taglio and Bill Cooper to spearhead the effort of collaborating with neighboring cities.

For more information, visit www.lasdschools.org.

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