Those who helped to conceive Measure A claim that even as the
district laid out that plan, it foresaw a second round in the future.
"I fully expected this to come up," said Jim Ferryman, a former
school board member who worked on the project in 1999. "When we put
that bond together, we focused on strictly the infrastructure -- very
little cosmetic stuff, very little lab or athletic facilities ...
because the infrastructure was the top priority at that time."
Measure A sought to repair Newport-Mesa school sites that had
deteriorated over the years. The project covered rewiring, seismic
upgrades and other safety issues but did not attempt to expand the
In the five years since voters passed Measure A, district
officials said they increasingly saw the need to further upgrade
Newport-Mesa's facilities. After the Citizens' Oversight Committee --
a 31-member board appointed by the district to mediate Measure A --
submitted a list last January of projects that still needed to be
undertaken, administrators formed a second committee to conceive a
new renovation plan.
The ballot measure for this November grew largely out of three
sources: recommendations by the Facility Advisory Committee, which
met five times this year before submitting a plan to the district;
the district's strategic plan, adopted last year, which called for
expanded student services; and the failure of Measure A to meet all
of its stated goals, despite receiving more than $60 million in state
"I think the district knew full well that it was going to take
more than what Measure A was going to offer," said Paul Reed,
Newport-Mesa's deputy superintendent, who joined the district as
business services director in 2002. "There was so much work done on
Measure A, and so many estimates early on that proved way short of
the mark, that it was fairly obvious."
Newport-Mesa's implementation plan for Measure A, finalized in
March 2002, outlined seven priorities for school renovations: health
and safety, handicap-access compliance, structural stability,