Danville Express

Newsfront - August 31, 2007

Measure A funds continue to finance projects

No new bonds may be needed in foreseeable future

by Jordan M. Doronila

Money continues flowing to finance school facility projects in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

District officials said there is enough money from Measure A to finish the designated projects, including San Ramon Valley High School. Measure A, a $260 million bond, was approved by residents in 2002 to renovate school facilities.

"There's no shortage of funds," said Margaret Brown, assistant district superintendent of facilities. "There's plenty to complete the projects."

Using Measure A, the district has upgraded and remodeled several schools, including John Baldwin and Greenbrook elementary schools, which opened with new facilities last year. Green Valley, Live Oak, Montevideo, Rancho Romero and Vista Grande elementary have seen major additions and improvements. The district has spent $200 million on schools thus far.

"I think the public ought to be proud of what we have done with their money," said Trustee Paul Gardner.

The district has built a new library at San Ramon Valley High, a commons area, a music chorus room and a video production facility. Measure D, a $75 million bond passed in the late 1990s, funded the school's new performing arts center and two classroom wings.

Brown said San Ramon Valley High will get a new two-story classroom and a career tech building with Measure A money. Additionally, the district will demolish the school's auto shop to create space for parking and build a new quad outside the administration office.

She said the district has budgeted $32 million for the current projects. Brown noted improvements done during the school year take a long time.

"We have to build around students," Brown said.

Brown said staff, town officials, students and other community members met this month to discuss San Ramon Valley High's master plan, and she has been meeting with them since May.

"It's an excellent process," Brown said. "It might be slow, but it's thoughtful. It involves the stakeholders."

She recalled several ideas were raised but if the proposals were not planned for Measure A funds, there is no money for them.

An aquatic center, which is not a Measure A project, is also being planned at the high school, with funds being raised by the Danville Aquatic Steering Committee. It is still doing fundraising for an additional pool although the district has set aside money to repair the school's existing pool, and to modernize the gymnasium.

Most of the Measure A projects, including at San Ramon Valley High, are scheduled to be completed by 2010. The district also plans to work on Stone Valley Middle School in Alamo.

Brown said in the distant future, the district might have to issue another bond to continue upgrading campuses and technology. But there is enough money for the time being.

Contact Jordan M. Doronila at jdoronila@DanvilleWeekly.com


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