"I want to give a big thank you to everyone in the community for supporting our schools," said Mountain View-Los Altos board member Fiona Walter, who has helped spearhead the campaign effort since February.
The frenzied lead-up to the election Tuesday night included everything from texts, emails, phone calls and door-to-door efforts to encourage people to support the measure on the June 5 ballot, including 20 phone banks that sought to reach as many people as possible. Walter said close to 150 people were involved in the campaign in some way, and they never assumed that passing the measure would be a slam-dunk.
"We were hopeful, but you still have to make sure everyone actually goes out to vote," she said.
Election results as of Wednesday morning showed that the bond measure had a much larger margin of victory in Mountain View compared to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, with nearly 70 percent of the city's voters supporting Measure E. In Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, 60.8 percent of voters supported the bond. Precincts in the Old Mountain View, Castro City and North Whisman neighborhoods show a larger margin of victory compared to the city's southern single-family neighborhoods like Waverly Park, Cuesta Park and Martens-Carmelita.
The high school district placed Measure E on the ballot to deal with increased enrollment growth — both current and expected over the next 10 years — and to upgrade aging, deficient and under-sized facilities long overdue for a replacement. Mountain View's extraordinary housing growth largely fueled projections showing that the district can expect upward of 500 more students, yet Los Altos High School is already scrambling for classroom space for its current student population.
The bond is significantly larger than the district's previous measures, which had more narrow scopes and asked voters for a fraction of the nearly $300 million passed by voters Tuesday night.
Projects and new facilities laid out in the district's Facilities Master Plan call for more than $100 million in upgrades designated for both Mountain View and Los Altos high schools.
With the bond coasting to approval, district officials are planning to start with new classroom construction first, with designs for two-story classrooms already in the works. If all goes according to plan, the district is expected to break ground in fall 2019, with the new classrooms housing kids by the 2020-21 school year.
Proponents campaigning for Measure E described the bond as a much-needed path towards building school facilities fit for the high-performing district in the heart of Silicon Valley, noting that cutting-edge multimedia, STEM and robotics programs are housed in cramped old portable classrooms.
Many of the district's ancillary facilities, like libraries, cafeterias and administrative offices, are intended for about 3,600 students across Mountain View and Los Altos high schools, yet they have been serving more than that since the 2011-12 school year. Enrollment is expected to climb to 4,498 students in the upcoming school year.'
Superintendent Jeff Harding, speaking to the crowd of supporters at the Tied House in downtown Mountain View on Tuesday evening, said they can rest assured the measure's revenue will be used to create facilities to support students for up to the next 50 years, and that students in school today will be heading into retirement while the investment from Measure E will still be paying off.
Walter used the celebration to thank campaign members heavily involved in passing Measure E, including Mountain View-Los Altos board member Debbie Torok, as well as district parent Vaishali Sirkay and campaign treasurer Curtis Cole.
There are 46 new residential housing projects either under construction or in the pipeline throughout the Mountain View-Los Altos district, which district officials are expecting will generate at least 500 students. The master plan carves out $30 million of the $295 million bond measure for "future" enrollment growth beyond what's projected, in case the number of additional students grows more than expected.
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