Measure A projects nearly complete

High school district's bond measure has funded new classrooms, pool, solar panels

The superintendent of the local high school district said that all major projects funded by the Measure A bond are on track to be completed on time and on budget.

While the district still plans to make some energy efficiency upgrades over the next 18 months, Barry Groves, superintendent of the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District, said all of the measure's big-ticket items -- solar panel canopies in both high school parking lots, a new swimming pool, the resurfacing of tennis courts, and the construction of 24 new classrooms -- have been completed.

"I am proud to announce that the projects were on time and on budget," Groves said.

Groves said he was pleased with everything the district has accomplished with Measure A funds, but the superintendent is most proud of the new classrooms -- all of which were built with the environment and energy efficiency in mind.

"The cornerstone for the whole building program has been the 24 new classrooms," Groves said. Though they haven't yet been certified, the superintendent said he expects the United States Green Building Council will award the buildings with a LEED designation for complying with the council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. "I feel really great about all of those buildings."

According to Groves, the teachers who now have classrooms in the new buildings are also fans of the Measure A projects. "They are the envy of the school," he said.

The $41.3 million Measure A bond was overwhelmingly approved by voters in June of 2010. The measure passed with 77 percent of the vote, 12,640 to 3,844. The bond did not raise taxes on local property owners but extended the life of a previous school bond -- Measure D -- by six years. Measure D had been set to expire in 2024, but will now continue until 2030.

At the time voters were considering the bond, Groves told the Voice that the Mountain View-Los Altos district was anticipating significant growth in its student population through 2020.

Groves said the new classrooms should be enough to handle Mountain View and Los Altos high schools' student populations for the "foreseeable future." The district may need to build larger common spaces, such as a cafeteria or gym, he said, but for now he doesn't believe the student population will grow so much that the district will need more classrooms.

Measure A funds were used to build a new pool at Mountain View High School -- replacing the former pool, which was installed in the 1960s and was too small to host swim meets and not deep enough for water polo.

The bond also funded the construction of solar panel canopies in parking lots of both Mountain View and Los Altos high schools. The 95,000 square feet of solar panels will save the district a significant amount of money in the long run, according to Joe White, superintendent of business services with MVLA. In addition to saving energy, the solar panels will provide a laboratory for science classrooms, as teachers will be able to build lesson plans around activities such as measuring the panels' output.

Over the next year and a half, the district will wrap up Measure A by making upgrades to existing classrooms' insulation, heating and ventilation systems and electricity efficiency.


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