Nearly five years after passing a $49.5 million bond measure to build new facilities and modernize existing ones in the Portola Valley Elementary School District (PVSD), the project is complete.
Community members celebrated the milestone with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration on Oct. 20 at each of the district's two schools, Ormondale and Corte Madera.
"As we embark on this exciting new chapter, I look forward to witnessing the positive impact these state-of-the-art spaces will have on the educational journey of our students," Superintendent Roberta Zarea told attendees, according to a press release. "The opportunities that lie ahead are infinite, and I am confident that these facilities will empower our students to thrive academically and personally."
District voters approved Measure Z in 2018 to fund the construction of classroom buildings, facilities and grounds. A mix of sources — the district's general fund, state funding and Measure Z — financed the projects, which began in 2019.
District officials said that the project included upgraded energy-efficient systems that will reduce PVSD's environmental footprint.
The project updated lighting to more long-lasting LED bulbs and installed energy management systems for HVAC units, costing about $227,000, according to district officials. This comes from state funding for energy efficiency projects, according to a district presentation.
Construction of the new facilities at the K-3 Ormondale School was completed early this year, according to the press release. There's a new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) lab and sensory garden, where students take "Garden Thyme" classes. Students take woodworking classes in the new art room on Wednesdays and Fridays, according to a district board staff report.
Corte Madera School's new middle school opened this April. Construction of the new fourth and fifth grade building was completed in August. Updates include a new amphitheater and an outdoor classroom deck.