That's nearly three times the cost of the Measure A bond.
Already dubbed Measure F, the new bond would allow the district to
complete the repairs promised in Measure A and begin new construction
on such things as new libraries, science labs, performing arts
centers and long-awaited and much-deserved sports facilities at Costa
Mesa's high schools.
So the natural questions are these: Are the voters ready to
approve such a big construction and repair bill, and does the
district deserve to collect such a windfall from Newport-Mesa
We're not sure we know the answers yet.
Here's what we do know. In 2000, the district went to great pains
to convince Newport-Mesa residents that in order to repair the aching
and breaking school facilities in the district, they needed big money
to make it happen.
Approve a $110 million bond at this time, they said, and $55
million in matching funds from the state will follow.
We got behind the district and supported the bond as the salve.
"If you have children attending Newport-Mesa schools, you already
know the horror stories," we wrote in May of 2000 in the first of a
two-part series of editorials advocating the passage of the bond. "At
one elementary school, the plumbing in kindergarten classrooms backs
up on a regular basis.
"At one junior high school, there are physical education classes
throughout the day but no showers.
"At one high school, ceiling tiles drop on ... [students'] heads
in the classroom."
The district schools, some as old as 70, clearly needed help and
we supported the effort.
Newport-Mesa voters did too. They opened up their wallets and gave
school officials a resounding 72% confidence boost at the polls, and
the repairs got underway.
What we don't recall at the time, and we've searched our database
to see if we missed something, is hearing school officials say this
would just be round one -- that a bigger, pricier school bond would
be needed to make the district as good as new again.
"I think the district knew full well that it was going to take
more than what Measure A was going to offer," Paul Reed, the