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Facilities Planning 2024: Building Safe, Secure, Quality Schools

Why address facilities needs in MPCSD now?

  • Seismic upgrades at Laurel School Lower Campus (95 Edge Road, Atherton) are critical. Most buildings on this campus were built in 1959 and are non-wood frame buildings. They are considered vulnerable by the state's seismic inventory of California public schools. In California, buildings designed for earthquake safety are crucial.
  • Silent emergency notifications and better perimeter security would increase our schools' ability to respond to threats on campus. We also need to be prepared for unlikely, yet catastrophic, events with technology and physical infrastructure upgrades to support reliable internet and emergency notification systems. When incidents happen on campus or the power is out, we still must be able to communicate with families and the public. Upgraded wiring will give peace of mind to families that their children are secure.
  • Improving student health and safety with HVAC that can handle increasing numbers of smoky days, unprecedented heat, and public health emergencies is important. Climate change is affecting our schools now. When air quality is bad because of wildfire smoke, we must keep students indoors. When classrooms are over 80 degrees for days on end because of warming, teaching goes on even though research shows that heat inhibits learning. Another pandemic could happen and we need to be ready to safely serve our children in well-ventilated classrooms. The district has outdated gas heating and very little air conditioning. We need to improve indoor air quality for the safety of children and teachers.
  • With state matching funds, energy grants, and tax credits on the table now, we need to act fast to access up to $28 million in "free" money. Building costs rise each year, too. The projected difference in cost between 2024 and 2028 is $37 million. Financially, the sooner MPCSD makes these investments the less they will cost. 
How will MPCSD pay for its facilities needs?
  • Projects will be funded by a variety of sources, maximizing MPCSD's ability to utilize state matching funds, grants, discounts, and tax credits.
  • Developer fees and the district's deferred maintenance budget will cover about $3.6 million.
  • The School Board has approved asking voters to approve a General Obligation Bond to fund the bulk of the projects.
  • The district is moving forward and will place the bond on the ballot in November 2024.

"I worry about the heat affecting my students' growing minds, ability to focus, and their desire to even be in school. A reasonable temperature in class is a necessity." -Vince Lopez, Oak Knoll Teacher

Learn more:

Finance Overview Provided by Keygent, LLC at November 2023 School Board Meeting

Facilities Planning for the Future presented at December 2023 School Board Meeting

Facilities Financial Planning Worksheet presented at December 2023 School Board Meeting

Bond Environment Presentation by BMWL presented at December 2023 School Board Meeting

San Mateo County Office of Education Green Facilities Report presented at January 2024 School Board Meeting

EMC Public Opinion Research presented at March 2024 School Board Meeting