Following the example of a neighboring district, officials in the Las Lomitas Elementary School District may ask voters to approve a bond measure on the November ballot to pay for new classrooms and upgrades on its two campuses to meet surging enrollment. The school board will decide on Aug. 6 whether to put a $60 million bond measure before voters.
Enrollment at Las Lomitas (K-3) in Atherton and La Entrada (4-8) in Menlo Park has climbed by 40 percent in about the last 10 years, according to Carolyn Chow, the district's chief business officer. And the increase continues. When school opens in August, enrollment is expected to rise by another 70 students to a total of 1,444. It is expected to increase by 46 the following year, Ms. Chow said, and the increases will continue beyond that.
At a June 26 meeting, board members indicated they were leaning toward placing a bond measure on the ballot, Ms. Chow said, so the district is now preparing ballot language for the board to vote on at the August meeting.
Approval by 55 percent of voters would be needed for the measure to pass.
Voters in the Menlo Park City School District, which also primarily serves children in Menlo Park and Atherton, will be asked to approve a $23 million bond in November to construct a fifth district school on a district-owned campus in Menlo Park. That district has also seen its enrollment far exceed projections from demographic studies done in recent years.
In the Las Lomitas district, the two campuses are at capacity, with 18 portable classrooms -- nine at each campus -- in use. Ms. Chow said a facilities master plan done recently identifies over $100 million in projects that would upgrade both campuses to maximum standards.
The board and district staff have been discussing projects that would eliminate all portable buildings and construct new, two-story buildings for classrooms. The project list would also include investment in modern technology, improved accessibility to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements, and an expanded lunch area to deal with the larger number of students, Ms. Chow said.