Measure E Updates

103 students were asked how they felt about the changes on Irvington’s campus after the Measure E projects.

103 students were asked how they felt about the changes on Irvington’s campus after the Measure E projects.

Felicia Mo, Staff Writer

Funded by the Measure E bond, a $650 million obligation passed by FUSD in 2014, completion of Irvington’s major campus construction projects’ cost $15 million, significantly higher than what had originally been expected. As FUSD’s current priority is the expansion of the district’s five middle schools, Irvington likely will not be receiving any additional improvements for a period of time.

A total of $133.5 million of needs had been identified at Irvington by the FUSD. Measure E provided $12.3 million to complete the four projects, a budget that Irvington greatly exceeded.

“Actually, $15 million worth of work was completed,” said Kenneth Blackstone, FUSD’s Public Information Officer of Facilities and Construction. “You know there’s going to be inflation, you know costs will go up, so you actually budget that in. But when you have crazy jumps and you’re thirty, fourty, fifty percent over what you thought, nobody can predict that.”

Before the Measure E bond was passed, the FUSD board developed a long-range facilities plan, a list of facility needs in the district’s  schools and a scoring system to rate each school’s campus condition and quality. According to FUSD Public Information Officer Kenneth Blackstone, Irvington scored the highest. The board then identified areas of improvement in each school; for Irvington, specifically, Measure E funded four main projects over the past four years—classroom addition, school flooring repair, technology infrastructure, and tennis court repairs—all of which have been completed.

Due to the district’s priority shift, Measure E-funded activities at Irvington and other FUSD high schools will gradually come to a standstill. According to Blackstone, building the middle schools will take up most of the remaining Measure E funds.

Inflation is also a factor when considering the costs of such activities and improvements.

“To try to get a figure that would work and allow us to do some significant work and still be palatable to taxpayers, it was determined that 650 million was within that range,” said Blackstone. “That was in dollars measured in 2014. And as time goes on, costs escalate with just regular inflation and the [growing] construction market.”

To compensate for unaddressed needs, FUSD is currently discussing the possibility of obtaining another bond after Measure E. Possible areas of improvement for Irvington include the athletics department, a second new building, and hallway roof repair.

“I would like to see a lot of improvements to athletics and PE,” said Principal Melsby. “I’m glad they did the tennis courts. I think that there are so many other projects that need to be done. Pool, track, all kinds of things. I would [also] like to have another new building really focusing on the arts, engineering, and technological classes we have. A building dedicated to that would be amazing.”