City Council may endorse Foster City school bond

Just in time for Valentine’s Day this year, San Mateo and Foster City voters could give their elementary and middle schools a gift — $175 million to improve facilities, from adding new classrooms to improving air conditioning in some buildings.

On Monday, the Foster City Council is expected to pass a resolution supporting the San Mateo-Foster City School District’s Measure L, a $175 million general-obligation bond slated for the Feb. 5 ballot.

If approved by more than 55 percent of voters, the money would pay for repairs to roofs, walls, floors, restrooms and climate-control systems, upgraded classrooms, computers and libraries, security improvements and additional classrooms.

The bondwould also modernize Foster City and College Park Elementary School and Fiesta Gardens International School, the three schools not upgraded with bond money from 1997 in the same improvement project that built the new district offices.

“Foster City’s council has always been supportive of the schools, and one of the primary purposes of this bond is to accommodate facility needs in Foster City,” said district trustee Mark Hudak, who was chairman of the board while the measure was being shaped. “Everyone acknowledges that the community benefits by keeping its schools in shape.”

Mayor Pam Frisella said that she hopes the measure is successful in February, given the projects for continued growth in Foster City’s already-overflowing schools.

“Anyone that doesn’t agree with [Measure L] should go on a tour of the schools,” she said. “It’s the biggest injustice of this country, the way our schools look.”

“We need to put more effort into education,” she said.

Although initially concerned about voters worrying about giving tax dollars to local school districts — after the San Mateo Union High School District’s 2006 near-bungling of millions — Hudak said that he thinks voters will side with the district and pass the bond.

The success of Burlingame’s $48.3 million Measure A school facilities bond in November is also a strong indicator of the returning confidence.

Like San Mateo Union, Hudak said, the district will likely hire a construction manager for any facility projects to make they are being managed by people with expertise on the subject.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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