District seeks input on middle school projects
Mountain View Whisman School District officials are looking for public input as they get ready to renovate two middle schools. District officials are holding a series of public meetings this month to collect feedback from the community on the upcoming voter-funded projects.
The district recently announced the issuance of $50 million bond, the first in a series of bonds to be paid for through the $198 million Measure G school bond. The first $50 million is to be split between the district's two middle schools — Crittenden and Graham. But before everything is finalized and workers break ground, meetings are to be held at each school, so that the school board members and administrators might listen to concerns and suggestions.
The community meetings are scheduled for Feb. 12, Feb. 19, Feb. 20 and Feb. 28. Spanish interpreters will be available at all the meetings.
Steve Nelson, a newly elected board member who ran for the office on a promise to increase transparency and community involvement, has said he does not believe the meetings are sufficient. He has said that not enough has been done to bring in community input and would have liked to see more community meetings and would have preferred that such meetings be scheduled further in advance of the start of Measure G projects.
The first two meetings are technically PTA events, but the public is welcome to attend, according to a flier advertising the events. They will be held at roughly the same date and time — Tuesday evening, Feb. 12 — with one held at Crittenden Middle School from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the other at Graham Middle School from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Two community meetings will be held on Feb. 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Graham; and on Feb. 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Crittenden.
Finally, an MVWDS board of trustees study session will be held on Feb. 28, beginning at 7 p.m. At this meeting, the board will share its priorities and to take public comments. The board will also review findings from previous community meetings and surveys.
Students will be given a brief survey at school on things they would like to see done with Measure G funds.
Superintendent Craig Goldman said he believes that there has been a great deal of community outreach. The superintendent said he is hopeful that the meetings will serve to "engage parents and community members in helping us to assess priorities. ... We can't always anticipate concerns and desires that parents and community members might have."
Goldman said it is important to get community input — even from those who don't have children in the schools. Anyone who owns property in the district will be paying a portion of taxes each year toward supporting the construction projects that will be paid for with Measure G funds.
Even if a resident doesn't own property in the district, he said, there is a good chance that person uses school facilities, or, at the very least, will be impacted in some way by one of the upcoming projects.
Those who cannot attend one of the scheduled meetings can still make their opinions known by going to the district's website, at MVWSD.org/Measure-G/Survey.