To fix classrooms and shore up creek bank, Woodside Elementary district set to vote on $36 million bond measure | November 17, 2023 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - November 17, 2023

To fix classrooms and shore up creek bank, Woodside Elementary district set to vote on $36 million bond measure

Projects include $3 million for repairing creek erosion from last winter's storms

by Angela Swartz

The Woodside Elementary School District may ask voters to approve a $36 million facilities bond measure to fund repairs to the school campus, including millions of dollars worth of damage from creek erosion at the back of the campus caused by last winters rains, including a big storm on New Years Eve.

The school board reviewed a draft of the measure on Nov. 6. The board plans to vote on putting the measure before voters at its Nov. 28 meeting. If approved, it would appear on the ballot of the statewide primary election on March 5, 2024.

Aside from $3 million to stabilize the hillside behind the campus, located at 3195 Woodside Road in Woodside, the proposed bond would fund about $26 million in renovations, including repairing or replacing leaking roofs, replacing outdated HVAC systems, and replacing and modernizing transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms (a $13.4 million project).

Superintendent Steve Frank noted that the projects are expensive because the school building code is stricter than for other types of construction.

Over the last year, district consultant CliffordMoss sent out mailers, drafted a facilities master plan to share with the community and conducted master plan stakeholder meetings. Some 106 people responded to surveys about district facilities.

The Woodside district held a Nov. 8 community meeting to answer questions about a potential bond measure. It last went out for a bond measure in 2014. Measure D passed and brought in $13.5 million.

Damage to hillside

Work the district completed a decade ago, when "stitch piers" were drilled into the ground next to creek banks to prevent further erosion, has been so compromised that the district had to install fencing in March for student safety, Frank said.

"Water was just raging so high," Frank said. "It took out so many trees and washed away a section of hillside. ... The ground is really unsafe."

The district's FEMA grant funding for the project has been approved, but the district doesn't know how much it will be for yet.

"My understanding is that once the project is developed and the total cost is known, the FEMA grant will be a 'percentage' of that total cost," Frank said in an email Tuesday, Nov. 14. "We are not yet aware of what the percentage is but hope to get a better understanding as the scope of the project is developed in the upcoming months."

Special meeting on bond measure

The school board will make a decision on the potential bond measure during a special meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Wildcats room at Woodside Elementary School, 3195 Woodside Road.

Watch a video of the Nov. 6 board meeting here. n

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