Danville Express

Perspective - April 13, 2007

Grass doesn't grow under Measure A funds

Has so much construction ever been done in one school district during such a short period of time as in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District during the last few years? Congratulations to the district for putting Measure A funds to use without wasting any time.

The school facilities had become quite needy by November 2002 when the voters passed Measure A, a $260 million School Facilities Bond.

The district, as it campaigned for the bond measure, was anxious to reduce overcrowding at the high schools, and to upgrade and replace outdated electrical systems. Some classrooms had not been renovated since they were built more than 25 years ago, and many portables that had been intended for temporary use needed to be replaced by permanent structures.

Last fall, just four years after voters passed Measure A, students at John Baldwin and Greenbrook elementary schools were greeted for the 2006-07 school year in new facilities, worthy of the 21st century. Baldwin had been built in 1968 and Greenbrook in 1976. They were given priority among Measure A projects because they had been constructed in a pod design that was popular at the time but now does not meet district specifications for classroom size and configuration.

New buildings and modernizations are currently under way at Green Valley, Live Oak, Montevideo, Rancho Romero and Vista Grande elementary schools as well as at other sites. All of the high schools are benefiting greatly from the additions and improvements.

Our school district has done an excellent job at zeroing in on its objectives along with members of the Measure A Oversight Committee. The district also has been able to secure more than $40 million in state matching funds.

Public agencies do not always move so efficiently toward their goals; we commend the school board members, Superintendent Robert Kessler and everyone involved.

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