Sunol Glen Unified School District’s Measure O, a ballot measure to raise $9.5 million for needed improvements to the single-school district, will be on the March 3 ballot.
The new bond would cost a property owner $59 per $100,000 assessed valuation, which is based on the official assessment placed by the county on a property. It should not be confused with the market value, which often is much higher than assessed valuation. Property owners need to examine their tax bill to learn the assessed value.
There is no organized oppos7tion or ballot argument against it.
The pro-Measure O ballot argument in the voter pamphlet mailed out by the county lists the projects the district wants to finance.
Some of the money would go for a new roof on the school building, but because much of the rest of the structure is good, only things like worn wood, and old wiring and plumbing would be replaced.
Sunolians like the “Mayberry” look. It is what they have called it over the years, after the laid-back fictional portrayal of a small rural town in 1960s TV.
Sunol Glen, both an elementary school and a middle school, was built in 1925, and has served for decades as the town’s community center for the local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other groups.
Sunol is protected from the kind of residential growth that impacts other districts like Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton, because of County Measure B, which is strict about preserving open space and agriculture in the Valley’s unincorporated area. As a result, the need for school expansion for population is modest.
However, a few years ago, Sunol Glen decided to expand enrollment by recruiting students from other nearby areas, under the state’s inter-district transfer rules. When Superintendent Molly Barnes succeeded Diane Evert in 2007, the district served 205 students. Now attendance has reached 295 students, with a waiting list of 30.
The goal after Barnes became superintendent was to add money to the budget. With about 90 more student slots, the extra $10,000 in state aid per student enabled the school to add a Spanish program and various arts classes.
The expansion also created an atmosphere in which teachers were excited about teaching in Sunol, said Barnes, and that has improved the school’s results. Sunol Glen scores high on state testing with 84% of students proficient in English and 89% in Math.
About 22% of the Sunol Glen students live in Sunol. Others come from Livermore, Pleasanton, Castro Valley and Hayward. The biggest contingent hails from Fremont, which is connected by Interstate 680 and Niles Canyon Road.
Barnes acknowledged that in Sunol there is talk about Sunol people paying for capital improvements for kids from other towns, but she noted that Sunol children benefit from a similar situation when they attend Foothill High School in Pleasanton, where Pleasanton residents are paying on bonds for facility improvements.
Measure O would finance the construction of a multi-purpose room, its major project. It would enable all 295 students to attend assemblies together, since it would be double the size of the room now used for them. It would be a place where students could attend PE classes on days of inclement weather.
The multi-purpose room would be a boon for community functions and could even be used as a refuge and staging area if a disaster occurs in town, Barnes said.
The building would also include a new cafeteria, twice as large as the current one.
That would be welcomed by the faculty, which now can’t eat together at the same time, because their designated area is so small.
Upgrading the cafeteria would save money by increasing efficiency of lunch service, Barnes added.
If the bond were approved, the district would try to get most of the new construction completed during summertime, but portable buildings could be rented, if necessary, said Sunol Glen board president Michael Picard.
Endorsers include the whole three-member Sunol Glen school board, 1st district Supervisor Scott Haggerty, 2nd District Supervisor Richard Valle, Alameda County School Superintendent Karen Monroe, and Assemblyman Bill Quirk.