Is seeing believing? Gloria Vasquez, the chair of the Yes on Measure K committee in Mammoth Lakes guided an actual tour of Mammoth school facilities so parents could see why the extended bond measure money is needed.
The tour led participants around the outside perimeter of the school, past the soccer fields where, if built, the new high school would stand. The fields would be moved to the area of the current parking lot.
Participants also received a very thorough tour of the existing gym. This gym would be the only building that would remain of the old high school if Measure K passes and new construction commences. A new gym would also be built in order to allow more sports teams to have more frequent access to indoor facilities during Mammoth’s cold, snowy winters.
Inside the school, participants were shown overcrowded classrooms, with some science labs built for 16 students now housing 27-32, and narrow hallways built in such a manner that in the event of an emergency evacuation, students are not allowed to exit from the hallways but must leave through the 110 exterior doors in the building. Those 110 doors, one attached to each classroom, are a whole different issue for the school when it comes to snow shoveling.
The tour ended in the chemistry lab/classroom with a question and answer session.
Measure K is the $65 million bond measure placed on the ballot for the November 4 election. If passed, the first $53 million, or phase one, would pay for a new high school. Phase two would include an addition to the middle and elementary schools. The bond needs 55 percent of the vote to pass.
Measure K is an extension of the 1998 school bond, which expires this year. That bond set a maximum rate for school district bonds of $30.80, and Measure K will bring the total tax up to exactly that by adding $14.69 to the current $16.11 that is already charged on every $100,000 of assessed property value.