The MVLA Board falls $7.9 million short of construction budget


Emily McNally

Alta Vista High School was named as a 2022 Model Continuation High School.

The Mountain View–Los Altos District Board voted unanimously to approve the revised construction budget Los Altos High School and Mountain View High School on Monday, March 28.

The initial plan approved in 2018 had a budget of about $295 million. However, inflation within the construction industry has driven the cost of construction higher by about 8 to 10 million dollars.

The last budget did not have to consider, for example, the additional cost for air monitoring per DTSC (California Department of Toxic Substances Control) and BAAQMD (The Bay Area Air Quality Management District) requirements.

The estimated costs of unfinished projects will amount to $108,790,000, according to the revised budget plan presented at the meeting. The District only has $94,631,000 remaining in its budget which means that it will fall over 14 million dollars short.

To meet this shortfall, the Board plans to use more developer fees, deferred maintenance funds, interest earnings and money from the District’s general fund. However, even with these means, MVLA will still be $7,906,000 short.

There have been proposed plans to cover the shortfall, including reducing the scope of planned projects — ultimately saving an estimate of $3.5 million if they only replace windows in enlarged buildings — and stalling lower priority projects until they receive $20 million in state funds.

According to the MVLAHSD Measure E Budget Revisions, the District plans to recoup possible savings from the $7,200,000 budgeted program contingency, although they are still pending bid results.