MVHS debuts new pool with a splash

Measure A-funded project adds pool, weight room

The local high school district marked the completion of a major Measure A-funded construction project on Tuesday morning -- with a splash.

District officials and a group of students gathered at the Mountain View High School campus on Jan. 31 to celebrate the opening of a new 30-meter swimming pool and weight room facility, which was finished on time and on budget, according Joe White, superintendent of business services for the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District.

Despite the chilly weather, after a brief dedication ceremony a group of swimmers and water polo players plunged into the pool, which will allow Mountain View High School to host swim meets and water polo games for the first time in its history, said White.

The old pool, originally built in the 1960s, was "too small to host swimming competitions and too shallow for official water polo matches," according to a district press release. The new pool has space for 10 regulation-size swimming lanes and a deep end large enough for water polo.

Two shade canopies near the pool and the weight room roof have been fitted with a thermal solar heating system, which White estimated would provide up to 50 percent of the heat for the pool.

A new building adjacent to the pool will serve as both a pool house and weight room for the school, White said. Up until now, the MVHS weight room was housed in a converted food services portable.

"This great for the school to have a brand new facilities -- to be able to accommodate the students both during the school day with physical education programs, as well as being able to offer after-school athletic programs," White said.

The installation of the pool and weight room comes after a number of other Measure A-funded projects, including the construction of solar-panel canopies and the installation of a new, high-speed wireless Internet system.


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Posted by Jon Wiener
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm


Minor query: Is White slightly misinformed or is he saying that when we got our butts beat there back in 1994, we didn't put up enough of a fight for it to count as a game?

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 2, 2012 at 3:35 pm

While sports and after school activities may contribute to healthy, happy students, they shouldn't be given priority over educational needs. Not when their funding was obtained under the pretense of classroom shortfall. And now that our administrators have blown these funds, they want another tax increase. Fool us once...

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Posted by Clarification
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm


I believe the pool was always in the high school district's public plans, and it's just a very small part of that facility bond...which extended a prior bond for 6 years, but did not increase tax rates.

Also, I don't know what you're alluding to on "another tax increase"...the high school district is a separate entity from the elementary district, and is not asking for a tax increase.

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Posted by RBH
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Thrilled to have MVHS swimmers and water polo players (not to mention physical education classes) able to practice and compete at "home". Go Spartans!

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

@Clarification: You are correct on all counts.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I stand corrected on the specifics of the proposed school tax increase. How soon before the high school district 'discovers' they need more money too? BTW...extending a bond that was due to expire is really just a new tax.

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Posted by Lynn Kopf Reed
a resident of another community
on Feb 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I am confused. I participated in quite a few swim meets at Awalt High School. I graduated in 1981 - the last year that all three schools were open. I am certain that swim meets took place after the name change. It was always a terrible Water Polo pool, but I am certain that matches were hosted there.

I know that in the late 70's the old MV rebuilt their pool, but it was measured incorrectly so it wasn't able to be used for meets. Maybe that is what Mr. White is referring to.

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Posted by Anne Westbrook
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2012 at 10:20 am

This finally makes the pool facilities at MVHS equal to what LAHS has had for years. This WAS in the bond measure, although only mentioned in the body of the full text.

I was PTSA President at MVHS in 2006-2007 and again in 2007-2008 and the inequality of facilities -- mainly the pool and the number of lockers -- between the two high schools was a big issue for some parents. The locker issue was fixed back then, but more money was needed for the pool. The extension to the time of the bond measure will make BOTH high schools even better -- and they are already very good.

Also, the only kids to get into the elite schools (Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Columbia) are those that are provable "stars" in some area such as athletics, music, speech and debate, leadership etc. Since not all sports have clubs, the high school facilities create the tie-breaking environment to help those kids with excellent GPAs and SAT/ACT scores stand out to the admissions committees. Whether or not it should be that way, that's the way it is.

A high school senior said to me when she visited Amherst College on a recruiting trip a few years ago that everyone she met was either a legacy, an under-represented minority, or an athlete. Students hoping to go to elite colleges have no control over the first two, but they can control the last.

Here are some examples of the kids I knew in the last few years that were accepted at the elite schools and the activity that probably was the tie-breaker -- in addition to very good academics -- to get them in:

Brown: Male - very good water polo player
Female-Regional level soccer player
Male-very good football player
Harvard: Male-State level runner
Male-Nationally Ranked Speech and Debater
Male-Extremely good cellist and
ASB President for two years
MIT: 4 females: all State level runners
Princeton: Male-Nationally Ranked runner
Male-Nationally Ranked volley ball star
Male-Extremely good violinist
Female - Nationally Ranked Speech and Debater
Male - Nationally Ranked Speech and Debater
Yale: Female-Nationally Ranked Speech and Debater

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Posted by another father
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Joe White is doing a very good job of keeping $ spent on reasonable projects. They worked to build new classrooms - or reconstruct the insides of old ones, without "demolition". The two story classrooms at Los Altos seem to be 'noise free' and pretty fire safe (the new and the older ones).
Stanford - Male vocalist and arranger (hey - if you sing the school songs to the Trustees, in the President's house - yoose got to be sweet mouthed)

go Stanford and Cal

The music support facilities are very nice for these kids (and were fairly recently updated and so were NOT on the specific bond $ list)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm

@Steve -- well, yes, the high school may well "discover" they need another bond in about 16 or 17 years. That's about the gap between the previous bond and the election to extend it for the current construction.

The original bond, passed when my now 18-year-old was an infant, provided major renovations, modernization, seismic upgrades, etc. at both Mountain View and Los Altos High Schools and was managed well enough that there was money left over to build a completely new Alta Vista High school campus.

Now, 17 years later, there is a major increase in enrollment starting with this year's freshman class, that they couldn't predict then. (Demographic studies can only do so much.) So they need more classroom space, and since that required extending the bond, it was also a good time to put in the new pool that was so badly needed. And add solar to the campuses, which was not available 17 years ago, and will allow the district to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on energy costs.

So, yes, they may indeed "discover" a need for facility upgrades, repairs, etc. in a couple of decades. Just like your house.

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Posted by another father
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm

@Steve - their only promise, no tax increase. They met that. In fact, with the low bond rates, they could do a lower total $ cost (financing costs some) and still just keep the district tax assessment the same. If they play this game successfully, they will be able to eventually get another bond when their facility starts to age and need Major Repair/ Replacement. I like both auditoriums at the high schools - they are duplicates. Another way they saved money.
(BTW - the bond they tried '17 or 18' years ago did not pass, so they came up with a more realistic cheaper plan, got support, and it PASSED!)

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