A $26 million bond measure on the June 7 ballot to fund major capital improvements throughout the Ravenswood City School District has passed with a wide margin of support, according to election results provided by San Mateo County.
The district has schools in Menlo Park as well as East Palo Alto.
With all precincts reporting, 87.2 percent of voters supported Measure H, compared to 12.8 percent who voted against the measure. The bond required 55 percent to pass.
The total count of "yes" votes is 1,478 and "no" votes, 217, according to the county.
Measure H will provide funding for repairs and upgrades at all eight of the district's school sites, which are more than 50 years old and serve more than 3,400 students from preschool through eighth grade.
In past years, the district has had to use buckets to catch rain falling through aging roofs when it rained; to bring in portable, electric space heaters when Costaño Elementary School lost heat due to a gas leak last winter (and was eventually forced to close temporarily); to repair a sewer line under Brentwood Elementary School that recently cracked, among other emergency, piecemeal repairs.
District leadership characterized the measure whose slogan was "warm, safe and dry" as critical to help maintain these basic elements of a learning environment.
Superintendent Gloria Hernandez-Goff and board President Ana Pulido said Wednesday morning they were confident the measure would pass and thankful to voters eager to support the schools.
"By passing this bond measure with such an overwhelming majority, they're really showing us that they are supportive of the direction that we're taking as a district and board," Hernandez-Goff said.
Measure H will fund new roofs at all the schools; upgraded heating, ventilating, air conditioning, climate-control, electrical and fire-safety systems; updated plumbing and parking facilities; modernized classrooms to accommodate higher-quality science, technology, engineering, math and language programs; and new furniture, equipment, classroom technology and landscaping.
The highest priority upgrades, Hernandez-Goff said, will be the new roofs, heating and air conditioning and fire and safety systems.
"This will allow us to fast-track all our roof repairs, as well as to make sure that our kids are warm in the winter and cool enough to focus and learn in the summer," she said.
Despite the significant upgrades, this is only a fraction of the $100 million in "critical" district-wide repairs identified through a comprehensive facilities master plan process, Hernandez-Goff said. The master plan itself will cost more than $300 million over several years.
The district sees Measure H as a first step toward the longer-term improvements envisioned in the master plan.
"We're very thankful (and) very excited to move forward," Pulido said.
The bond measure's projected annual tax rate is $30 per $100,000 of taxable value. A property assessed at $700,000, for example, would likely have an annual tax obligation of $210 under this measure.
Measure H is a general obligation bond, meaning it will be repaid over approximately 30 years through a tax on all taxable property residential, commercial and industrial located within the school district's boundaries.
The district estimates that the total amount repayable during the life of the bond, including principal and interest, is approximately $44 million.